EL PASO, Texas (Reuters) – Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke held a significant rally in El Paso, Texas, on Saturday, a metropolis thrust to the middle of America’s immigration debate by President Donald Trump and the united statesgovernment this week.
Democratic 2020 U.S. presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke poses for a photograph with supporters throughout a kickoff rally on the streets of El Paso, Texas, March 30, 2019. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson
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.
Speaking in El Paso, a couple 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 find security not through walls,” he declared to cheers from a number of hundred supporters as he formally launched his presidential marketing campaign.
Before switching to Spanish to end his speech, O’Rourke denounced what he known as Trump’s insurance policies of “fear and division” and accused the president of in search of “to keep us apart and to make us afraid of one another.”
“Let’s remember, every single one of us are fellow human beings and deserve to be treated like fellow human beings,” he mentioned.
O’Rourke’s rally in El Paso was long-planned, however the metropolis grew to become central to America’s immigration debate this week.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Kevin Okay. McAleenan instructed 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 elements of the southern border, mentioned on Friday: “There’s a very good likelihood that I’ll be closing the border next week, and that will be just fine with me.”
Trump has repeatedly mentioned he would shut the U.S. border with Mexico throughout his two years in workplace. His newest risk had employees and college students who regularly cross the border apprehensive in regards to 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 are safe not despite the fact we are a city of immigrants and asylum seekers – we are safe because we are a city of immigrants and asylum seekers,” O’Rourke mentioned in El Paso on Saturday.
O’Rourke, who introduced his White House marketing campaign on March 14, shot to nationwide prominence final 12 months in an unexpectedly shut race in opposition to incumbent Texas Republican Senator Ted Cruz.
His Texas rallies shall be watched through livestream at greater than 1,000 areas throughout America, in accordance to his marketing campaign.
More than a dozen contenders are combating to change into the Democratic Party’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 apply amongst presidential hopefuls. The messages harassed the significance of donating earlier than Sunday, the deadline for first quarter fundraising experiences with the Federal Election Commission.
O’Rourke, 46, smashed fundraising information 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 12 months.
However, he has struggled to see a robust marketing campaign work ethic translate into a big increase in early polling.
O’Rourke trails former Vice President Joe Biden and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders by double digits, in accordance to early polls amongst Democratic voters. Analysts warn that polls this early, earlier than the primary nominating votes are solid in Iowa in February 2020, are unreliable.
Biden has but to be a part of the race, though he’s anticipated to announce his presidential candidacy quickly.
Reporting by Tim Reid; Editing by Paul Tait and Richard Chang