AP Photo/Kathy Willens
- Potential 2020 presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke said he would tear down the entire wall along the US-Mexico border.
- O’Rourke made the comments in response to a tweet from Republican Rep. Dan Crenshaw, who questioned if he would "snap your fingers and make El Paso’s border wall disappear…"
- Republicans used O’Rourke’s comments as further evidence to support the claim that Democrats support open borders.
Former Democratic Rep. Beto O’Rourke, who is mulling a 2020 presidential run, said he would tear down existing border wall structures if he were commander-in-chief.
O’Rourke’s comments, in which he also lamented the ineffectiveness of the wall, drew widespread outrage from Republicans looking to bolster President Donald Trump as he makes his national emergency declaration to build additional miles of physical barriers along the border.
In an interview with MSNBC Thursday night, O’Rourke responded to a tweet from current Republican Rep. Dan Crenshaw of Texas, who asked, "If you could snap your fingers and make El Paso’s border wall disappear, would you?"
"Absolutely, I’d take the wall down," O’Rourke told MSNBC host Chris Hayes.
"Here’s what we know: after the Secure Fence Act, we have built 600 miles of wall and fencing on a 2,000 mile border," O’Rourke said. "What that has done is not in any demonstrable way made us safer."
"They’re dead, over the last 10 years, as we have walled off their opportunity to legally petition for asylum to cross in urban centers, like El Paso," he added. "To be with family. To work jobs. To do what any human being should have a right to be able to do."
Republicans used O’Rourke’s comments as evidence for their claim that Democrats support open borders.
Crenshaw responded by lauding O’Rourke’s comments, saying, "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," he added in a tweet. "Should also note: El Paso mayor stated ‘The fence has worked.’ Residents have ‘stated that they felt more secure with the fence.’"
"Give Beto O’Rourke points for honesty: he admits that he wants to tear down existing border walls & have totally open borders," Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton wrote on Twitter. "At least he’ll say what most Democrat politicians believe."
"So he wants to make illegal immigration, human trafficking, and drug smuggling easier?" Texas Sen. John Cornyn said.
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