Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate Beto O’Rourke sat down with the McAllen Texas publication, The Monitor, to talk about his campaign’s stance on the issues hitting home to cities sitting right on the Mexican border.
During the interview, which spanned a number of topics, O’Rourke reiterated his stance on the border, saying too much emphasis is placed on border security, and perhaps too many U.S. resources are being expended on the Mexican border.
“I think you just gotta look at the facts,” O’Rourke said. “I want to say the average number of apprehensions per agent is now under 10 for the entire year, and in some sectors like the El Paso sector, it’s under five. The entire year.”
As a native and representative of El Paso, he claims to have witnessed the harmful results of an overemphasis on border control.
O’Rourke cited the environmental impact of President Donald Trump’s proposed border wall: workers at the National Butterfly Center found contractors working for U.S. Customs and Border Protection trespassing on Center property last July, and have since filed suit against the Department of Homeland Security.
National parks like Big Bend could also see the wall cutting through their land.
“We have been, I think, victims of our own complacency on the border,” O’Rourke said during the interview.
He described the area around the Texas-Mexico border as an interesting place, and said its story should be told more publicly, adding, “…in much of the American consciousness, we’re sitting right now in a place that you should be deathly afraid of, when, in reality, it’s one of the most amazing, wonderful, magical places, anywhere in the world.”
The Texas Democrat also outlined legislation to fix small parts of the problems with the current immigration system, and expressed support for legalizing the thousands of U.S.-born children of immigrants, commonly referred to as “DREAM-ers.”
With ten months to go until the primary elections, both O’Rourke’s and sitting Sen. Ted Cruz’s campaigns will be firing on all cylinders to garner support.
O’Rourke’s stop in McAllen is one of multiple visits to the Rio Grande Valley area, supplementing his town hall tour of the Lone Star State.
His opponent has also been on the road, making more visits to the Valley in 2017 than ever before, according to the Monitor.