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Beto: U.S. Must Focus on Well-Being of Migrants ‘Above Any Other Concern’

SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS - NOVEMBER 04: U.S. Senate candidate Rep. Beto O'Rourke (D-TX) pumps his fist for a cheering crowd before departing a campaign rally at the Alamo City Music Hall November 04, 2018 in San Antonio, Texas. As Election Day approaches polls have shown the gap narrow between O'Rourke …
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
TONY LEE

Rep. Robert Francis “Beto” O’Rourke (D-TX) believes the country must focus on the well-being of illegal immigrant migrant children “above any other concern.”

“We are very saddened to learn of the death of another child in U.S. custody,” he tweeted on Tuesday after a second migrant child died after crossing the border. “We must focus on the wellbeing of these children above any other concern.”

If he runs for president, O’Rourke is likely to use immigration to try to show “solidarity” with Democrats of color who could be skeptical of white Democrats who sound moderate on issues dealing with racial and identity politics.

O’Rourke, though, is unlikely to get a free ride on the issue and will have to answer for some of his pro-enforcement votes that left-wing activists believe supported the creation of President Donald Trump’s “deportation force.”

Left-wing journalist David Sirota recently pointed out in Capital & Main that O’Rourke “was one of a group of Democrats who broke party ranks to support Republican legislation to waive requirements for Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents and job applicants to take polygraph tests — a proposal that was part of the Trump administration’s plan to assemble a deportation force.”

O’Rourke said he voted to waive the polygraph requirements to “help speed up the hiring process and provide the CBP Commissioner additional authorities to recruit and hire quality CBP officers and Border Patrol agents.”

Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL), the retiring lawmaker who was arguably the most ardent amnesty champion in Congress, blasted anyone who voted to waive the requirements: “I will not mince words. Anyone who votes for this bill is voting to support and implement Donald Trump’s views on immigration, his desire to militarize our southern border, and his fantasy of a mass deportation force. You cannot spin it any other way.”

“To me and a lot of other people watching this debate, this is about something else,” Gutierrez said in opposition. “Remember that man descending the golden escalators at Trump Tower announcing his campaign for President by saying Mexicans who come to the U.S. are rapists, drug dealers, and murderers? Remember him? Do you want to buy into his vision of immigrants as a brown horde intent on doing America harm?”

Gutierrez added: “If you are on board with this, you are also on board with building a wall; on board with billions to be spent on deporting moms and dads who have lived here for decades; going after DREAMers as the Trump administration is doing today, deporting DREAMers from the United States of America. Where do you want to draw the line on the Trump deportation agenda? I say draw the line right here, right now, and don’t give another inch.”

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