Beto calls for tearing down existing border walls

February 15, 2019 GMT

Democrat Beto O’Rourke doesn’t just oppose building more border walls and fences in Texas, he wants to tear down existing barriers.

In an interview on MSNBC on Thursday night from El Paso, O’Rourke was asked by interviewer Chris Hayes if he would take down the more than 40 miles of walls and fences in El Paso and he said he would “absolutely” do that.

“I’d take the wall down,” O’Rourke told Hayes.

O’Rourke said the current barriers have not made El Paso safer and have cost billions of dollars to build and maintain. In addition, he said, it’s pushing asylum seekers away from cities to more dangerous places to cross.


Hayes said he asked the question because U.S. Rep. Dan Crenshaw, R-Houston, posed the same question to O’Rourke on Twitter.

The talk show host also asked O’Rourke if he thinks El Paso voters would agree with him, if there were a referendum on taking down the wall.

“I do,” said the former El Paso congressman.

Crenshaw took to Twitter moments after O’Rourke’s interview aired.

“At least Beto is honest about his open border policy. Most Dems claim to support a secure border while simultaneously undermining it at every turn,” Crenshaw wrote.

He pointed out that El Paso’s mayor has previously said the fence along the border with Juarez has worked.

El Paso Mayor Dee Margo, a Republican, said in an interview in late December on FOX News that the border barriers do work.

“It has stopped criminal activity and it works,” Margo said during the interview.

O’Rourke’s comments come just days after he was part of a rally in El Paso to counter President Donald Trump’s call for building more barriers. Trump used El Paso as an example where border fencing has made the city safer. O’Rourke rejected that idea, saying that El Paso was safe even before the border wall was first constructed in 2008.

“All of us together are going to make a stand here, in one of the the safest cities in the United States of America, not because of walls, but in spite of walls,” O’Rourke said on Monday during the rally in El Paso.

The interview on MSNBC came just as Congress was approving a new spending plan to prevent another government shutdown. While the measure has funding for border security, it does not give Trump the billions of dollars he originally wanted to build walls along the southern border.