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July 1 2019

Where in the World Is Beto O’Rourke?

by Charlotte Hays

 

Although it was formerly customary for candidates for President of the United States to campaign for the office within the United States, the innovative Beto O’Rourke is campaigning from Mexico.

O’Rourke was in Ciudad Juarez yesterday, speaking to asylum seekers.

As Hot Air put it, O’Rourke has “one-upped other Democrats and crossed the border into Mexico to show what a compassionate guy he is, or something.”

The Associated Press reports:

In his first international trip as a White House hopeful, the former congressman traveled to Ciudad Juarez, across the Rio Grande from his native El Paso, Texas, to meet what his campaign described as “individuals and families directly impacted by Donald Trump’s cruel and inhumane policies.”

A fluent Spanish speaker, O’Rourke met around a table at a shelter with immigrants from El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala, some of whom wept as they told of being denied entry into the U.S. while their asylum claims are processed. Many said they were terrified they’d be sent back to their home countries, where their lives had been threatened because of abusive spouses, street gang violence or drug smugglers.

“We hope, by sharing these stories, that the conscience of our country is awoken right now, and the need to change the policies that we have in place” becomes apparent, O’Rourke said via a livestream on his Facebook page.

He blames those being forced to wait on “the Trump administration’s unlawful ‘Remain in Mexico’ program,” which has allowed the United States to return thousands of Central Americans to Mexican border cities as they wait to hear about their asylum claims. It is meant to reduce the attractiveness of U.S. asylum requests that in the past had allowed claimants to remain in the U.S. for years as their cases wound their way through the courts.

We can be compassionate towards the families and individuals fleeing Latin American countries for a better life and still require that people come to the country legally.

For that to happen, asylum applications have to be vetted and those who don’t qualify turned away, no matter how we wish conditions in their countries of origin were better.

The AP is right about one thing, though: having people from Central America wait in Mexico for their claims to be processed does "reduce the attractiveness" of the system of evaluating asylum claims.

If people are allowed in the U.S. before their claims are evaluated, they are likely to disappear into the country. Many do not show up for asylum hearings, making a mockery of the whole system.

O’Rourke tweeted:

The wealthiest, the most powerful country on the face of the planet is turning these families away from a land comprised of refugees and asylum seekers the world over. This can't be us. This can't be America. But right now, it's America and it's on all of us to make this right.

Karen Townsend of Townhall pegs where O’Rourke stands:

He’s chosen his side in the political debate and it’s not with legal immigrants.

No matter how wealthy a country is, it cannot take everybody who wants to come here. It has a right to ask people to come legally.

O’Rourke’s actions, however, make it more attractive to come here illegally, likely ensuring that the crisis at the border worsens.

 

 

 

 





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