EL PASO, Texas (Reuters) – Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke held a serious rally in El Paso, Texas, on Saturday, a metropolis thrust to the middle of America’s immigration debate by President Donald Trump and the usgovernment this week.
O’Rourke, a former congressman from El Paso, kicked off a collection of three rallies in Texas in his bid to change into the Democratic nominee a day after Republican Trump threatened to shut the U.S. border with Mexico as quickly as subsequent week.
Talking in El Paso, a number of hundred yards from the border with Mexico, O’Rourke decried the Trump administration’s immigration insurance policies and the president’s name for a border wall.
“We’ll discover safety not by partitions,” he declared to cheers from a number of hundred supporters as he formally launched his presidential marketing campaign.
Earlier than switching to Spanish to complete his speech, O’Rourke denounced what he known as Trump’s insurance policies of “concern and division” and accused the president of searching for “to maintain us aside and to make us afraid of each other.”
“Let’s bear in mind, each single certainly one of us are fellow human beings and need to be handled like fellow human beings,” he stated.
O’Rourke’s rally in El Paso was long-planned, however the metropolis turned central to America’s immigration debate this week.
U.S. Customs and Border Safety Commissioner Kevin Ok. McAleenan advised reporters in El Paso on Wednesday the southern border system was at breaking level due to the variety of unlawful immigrants crossing the border every day.
Trump, who remains to be decided to construct a barrier alongside components of the southern border, stated on Friday: “There’s an excellent probability that I’ll be closing the border subsequent week, and that can be simply superb with me.”
Trump has repeatedly stated he would shut the U.S. border with Mexico throughout his two years in workplace. His newest risk had employees and college students who often cross the border fearful concerning the potential disruption to their lives.
Trump and O’Rourke held dueling rallies in February in El Paso, which is already divided from Mexico by metal fencing.
Trump desires it bolstered and lots of of miles of extra fencing constructed alongside the border. O’Rourke opposes any new border constructions and opposition to Trump’s border wall and immigration insurance policies has been a centerpiece of his marketing campaign.
“We’re secure not regardless of the very fact we’re a metropolis of immigrants and asylum seekers – we’re secure as a result of we’re a metropolis of immigrants and asylum seekers,” O’Rourke stated in El Paso on Saturday.
O’Rourke, who introduced his White Home marketing campaign on March 14, shot to nationwide prominence final yr in an unexpectedly shut race towards incumbent Texas Republican Senator Ted Cruz.
His Texas rallies can be watched through livestream at greater than 1,000 places throughout America, in keeping with his marketing campaign.
Greater than a dozen contenders are preventing to change into the Democratic Get together’s candidate to tackle Trump in 2020.
The O’Rourke marketing campaign despatched a number of requests to potential supporters for marketing campaign donations earlier than his rallies in El Paso, Houston and Austin on Saturday, a standard follow amongst presidential hopefuls. The messages harassed the significance of donating earlier than Sunday, the deadline for first quarter fundraising reviews with the Federal Election Fee.
O’Rourke, 46, smashed fundraising data as a Senate candidate and raised $6.1 million within the first 24 hours of his presidential marketing campaign, the biggest first-day haul of any introduced candidate this yr.
Nevertheless, he has struggled to see a powerful marketing campaign work ethic translate into a major increase in early polling.
O’Rourke trails former Vice President Joe Biden and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders by double digits, in keeping with early polls amongst Democratic voters. Analysts warn that polls this early, earlier than the primary nominating votes are forged in Iowa in February 2020, are unreliable.
Biden has but to affix the race, though he’s anticipated to announce his presidential candidacy quickly.
Reporting by Tim Reid; Modifying by Paul Tait and Richard Chang