Former U.S. Representative Robert Francis “Beto” O’Rourke (D-Texas), who announced his run for the White House on March 13, addressed a gathering of 1,000 to 2,000 people in the border city of El Paso on March 30.
O’Rourke delivered pro-immigration statements that obviously were aimed at countering one of President Trump’s signature stances — securing the southern border to stop the flood of illegal border crossings into our country.
Trump has addressed the problem of illegal immigrants bringing crime to the United States, stating when he announced his presidential candidacy, “The Mexican Government is forcing their most unwanted people into the United States. They are, in many cases, criminals, drug dealers, rapists, etc.”
During his March 30 speech, O’Rourke touted what he claimed was a positive connection between immigration and El Paso’s crime rate, asserting, “We are safe, not despite the fact that we are a city of immigrants and asylum seekers. We are safe because we are a city of immigrants and asylum seekers.”
In January, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton provided the president with another explanation for the diminished crime rate in El Paso — the border fence.
“El Paso used to have one of the highest crime rates in America,” Paxton said. “After that fence went up and separated Juarez, which still has an extremely high crime rate, the crime rates in El Paso now are some of the lowest in the country. So we know it works.”
Last year, the Crime Prevention Research Center released fresh data on crime rates among illegal aliens in another Southwest border state, Arizona. A summary of the study on the organization’s website noted:
Undocumented immigrants are at least 142% more likely to be convicted of a crime than other Arizonans. They also tend to commit more serious crimes and serve 10.5% longer sentences, more likely to be classified as dangerous, and 45% more likely to be gang members than U.S. citizens….
If undocumented immigrants committed crime nationally as they do in Arizona, in 2016 they would have been responsible for over 1,000 more murders, 5,200 rapes, 8,900 robberies, 25,300 aggravated assaults, and 26,900 burglaries.
Joining O’Rourke during his rally was Representative Veronica Escobar (D-Texas), who replaced him in the House. Escobar welcomed those present to the “beautiful, magical, safe and secure U.S.-Mexico border,” adding, “When the border sends America her people, we are sending them our best in Beto O’Rourke.”
Escobar called El Paso “the capital of the border; the new Ellis Island,” ignoring the fact that the millions of immigrants who entered through Ellis Island did so legally.
During his talk, O’Rourke employed a type of “class warfare” theme that has long been typical of socialists and progressives.
“For too long in this country, the powerful have maintained their privilege at the expense of the powerless. They have used fear and division in the same way that our current president uses fear and division — based on the differences between us of race, of ethnicity,” O’Rourke said, without mentioning Trump by name.
Correction: As originally published, Rep. Veronica Escobar's party affiliation was mistakenly misidentified; she is a Democrat.
Photo: AP Images