Former Texas Democratic Rep. Beto O’Rourke claimed that “walls end lives” during a rally on Monday night, just miles away from President Trump’s rally in El Paso, Texas.
The president extolled the importance of better border security at his rally, repeatedly promising to “finish the wall.”
“Now, you really mean ‘finish that wall,’ because we’ve built a lot of it,” Trump said as a crowd of supporters chanting, “Build that wall!”
O’Rourke, on the other hand, is a staunch opponent of additional border security measures and has previously suggested that America should decriminalize border crossings. (RELATED: Angel Father Who Lost His Daughter Still Waiting For Phone Call From Beto O’Rourke)
Beto O’Rourke: “Walls do not save lives. Walls end lives.”
— Caleb Hull (@CalebJHull) February 12, 2019
“We know that walls do not save lives,” O’Rourke said. “Walls end lives.”
O’Rourke went on to discuss the plight of migrants seeking to come to the United States.
“In the last ten years, more than 4,000 children, women, and men have died trying to come to this country,” O’Rourke said. “As we build these walls … we push them to ever more treacherous and more remote stretches of the Mexico-U.S. borders.”
Supporters of the border wall — including President Trump — have argued that the United States’ porous borders are responsible for encouraging vulnerable migrants to make the dangerous trek.
While Trump was speaking at the El Paso rally, congressional Democrats and Republicans were coming up with an “agreement in principle” on border security funding, but many are unhappy with the details of the compromise, which includes $1.375 billion for physical barriers and a 17-percent drop in immigration detention facility beds.
O’Rourke, an El Paso native, represented the border community for six years in Congress, before losing to Republican Sen. Ted Cruz in Texas’ 2018 U.S. Senate race. O’Rourke is considering a run for president in 2020.