Robert “Beto” O’Rourke thinks the border wall is killing people.
During a town hall on Friday in El Paso, Texas, the failed senatorial candidate argued that the wall on the border between the U.S.-Mexico is the reason why an increasing number of migrants have died.
“The number of people dying at the U.S.-Mexico border in some years has grown,” O’Rourke said.
“In some years has grown because it’s connected to that wall that we have already built that pushes people who are at their most desperate and vulnerable to ever-more inhospitable stretches of the Chihuahua Desert,” he added.
Border Patrol reported 329 migrant deaths in 2016. In 2017, 294 deaths. Seven were children. The solution is not more walls. It's not more partisanship and rhetoric. It's making sure our laws match our values as a nation of immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers the world over. pic.twitter.com/tFHy9AvCZb
— Beto O'Rourke (@BetoORourke) December 14, 2018
Unsurprising to many, the 2020 hopeful didn’t bother to mention that most of the migrant deaths are attributed to people trying to illegally enter the country.
O’Rourke appeared to be arguing that the wall and other border barriers were at fault because it forced migrants to seek more dangerous routes to illegally enter the country.
The Texas Democrat went on to make that exact point without even realizing it.
He told the audience that migrants attempting to illegally cross the border increased roughly 40 percent between 1998 and 2010 after some of the barrier was constructed in El Paso.
“The wall in this area was built in 2006, 2007, and 2008,” O’Rourke said. “So even though total crossing attempts had decreased, the number of deaths went up.”
O’Rourke’s solution is to securing the border is to “ensure that we are maximizing the potential from everyone … and treating each other with respect and dignity.”
The Texas progressive — who is undoubtedly gearing up for 2020 presidential run and wants to oust President Donald Trump — isn’t the only Democrat who has made ridiculous comments to show their opposition to the border wall.
Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Oregon, said he’s opposing a border wall because people can’t see through it.
During a segment on CNN, Merkley was grilled by host Alisyn Camerota about why Democrats previously supported a border fence and other resources, but now refuse to give Trump hardly anything for his border wall.
“Yeah, border security, including fencing, is — I’ve been to the border, I’ve seen the fencing, you can see through it,” he claimed, offering arguably the weakest excuse yet for why Democrats won’t support the wall.
He doubled down on this ridiculous assertion and was oblivious to the fact that immigration officials would have a slew of options to see over the wall.
“In fact, the border guard itself says a concrete wall is an absolute mistake. They said that the border guard needs to be able to see what’s going on on the other side, that the wall doesn’t stop any bad things from happening, it just makes it impossible for the folks on our side to see what’s developing. It makes it more difficult for them,” he added.
Trump wants $5 billion for border wall funding included in the spending bill, which has to be passed through Congress in roughly one week or the government will partially shut down.
Democrats are only agreeing to $1.7 billion, which they claim is a “very generous offer.”