Beto O’Rourke: ‘I Think The Border Is Pretty Great Right Now’
Laura Buckman/AFP via Getty Images

Texas gubernatorial candidate Robert Francis “Beto” O’Rourke said that he thinks the situation at the southern border is “pretty great right now.”

At a town hall Monday afternoon in Rio Grande City, Texas, O’Rourke was asked by a voter during a question and answer period what he would do with state funding currently being used to construct a border wall on state land in gaps between segments of the federal border wall. O’Rourke said the money should be redirected toward communities and toward helping migrants instead of a border barrier and extra manpower at the border, which he derided as “bumper sticker slogans.”

“What do you do about the money that the state is spending on a wall that does not work?” the questioner began, claiming that walls do not work because of the large number of migrants that cross the border every month. “Eliminate that money, eliminate the money that is being used for the Texas [National Guard], put it into our schools, that’s where we need it.”

O’Rourke began his response by pointing out that Governor Greg Abbott has invested $5 billion of state money toward efforts to secure the southern border. “And we all agree that we want the border to be better. In fact, I think the border is pretty great right now. I’d love to see investments in our communities, protecting our natural heritage, improving the ability to help those who are seeking asylum and trying to do it lawfully and in an orderly fashion, because they literally cannot return to their home countries for fear of being killed, or their children being kidnapped. I want to see us do a better job.”

“But involuntarily activating ten thousand of our fellow Texans, with a week’s notice, they were taken from their families, their kids, their jobs, their careers, and sent to the border for a one-year deployment, and these guard members have no constitutional authority to arrest or detain, they can only spot and radio in to CBP, or to local law enforcement,” he continued. “And there is some value in that, I think a voluntary activation at some small number might make sense, we’ve been doing that in Texas for years. But ten thousand members, a wall, that is more of a public art installation than it is anything else … it’s done nothing to stop anybody. But it really speaks to the larger problem that we have in this state and in this country … we’re excited … for bumper sticker solutions like ‘build that wall,’ or ‘deport them all,’ or be incredibly cruel, or do whatever it takes, we just don’t want to have to deal with this problem, instead of addressing the underlying issues.”

Abbott announced the first construction of the state’s border wall in December. “Texas has officially started building its own border wall,” Abbott tweeted on December 17th. “Biden allows open border policies and refuses to enforce laws passed by Congress to secure the border and enforce immigration laws. Texas is stepping up to do the federal government’s job.”

At a Texas Facilities Commission in November, commissioners unanimously approved a contract to construct a total of eight miles of border barrier that would fill gaps in the federal border wall, The Daily Wire reported. Abbott also announced in October that the state would use shipping containers as makeshift barricades to block other segments of the border.

The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  Beto O’Rourke: ‘I Think The Border Is Pretty Great Right Now’