Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-TX) told MSNBC Thursday that he would “absolutely” take down the border wall in El Paso, Texas.
MSNBC’s Chris Hayes referenced a tweet from Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-TX) which showed that illegal crossings had dropped significantly since the border wall was built in El Paso. He asked O’Rourke if he would take down the wall.
.@BetoORourke should answer a simple question tonight with respect to the border debate:— Dan Crenshaw (@DanCrenshawTX) February 11, 2019
If you could snap your fingers and make El Paso’s border wall disappear, would you?
Because this DHS graph shows that when the wall was built, illegal crossings dropped significantly. pic.twitter.com/JgquXfw2Ee
“Yes, absolutely,” Rep. O’Rourke replied. “I’d take the wall down.”
“You think if there was a referendum here in this city that would pass?” Hayes followed up.
“I do,” O’Rourke replied.
Crenshaw responded to the exchange on Twitter by pointing to remarks the El Paso mayor and residents have made that the border fence there worked and made them feel safer.
At least Beto is honest about his open border policy. Most Dems claim to support a secure border while simultaneously undermining it at every turn.— Dan Crenshaw (@DanCrenshawTX) February 15, 2019
Should also note: El Paso mayor stated “The fence has worked.” Residents have “stated that they felt more secure with the fence.” https://t.co/YbDji8dCHa
"Here's what we know, after the Secure Fence Act, we have built 600 miles of wall and fencing on a 2,000-mile border. What that has done is not in any demonstrable way made us safer," O'Rourke told Hayes. "It’s cost us tens of billions of dollars to build and to maintain and it has pushed migrants and asylum seekers and refugees to the most inhospitable, the most hostile stretches of the U.S-Mexico border ensuring their suffering and death."
Rep. O’Rourke went on to characterize the calls for border security as a “perverse” overreaction to 9/11.
"It's perverse, the response that we have to legitimate concerns and problems, international terrorism, which was orchestrated in Afghanistan by al Qaeda, carried out by people from Saudi Arabia, we punish people from Mexico at the U.S.-Mexico border,” he said, “deport in one year alone 400,000 Mexican nationals from this country from a response to 9/11. We wall off 600 miles of the U.S.-Mexico border. Precisely zero terrorists or terrorist organizations have ever used the border to attack a single American."