Beto O`Rourke on Immigration

Democratic candidate for President; Texas Senator nominee


Against border wall; against criminalizing asylum seekers

O'Rourke has been a vocal critic of Trump's border wall with Mexico and said the U.S. should not criminalize who request asylum between ports of entry. O'Rourke has not offered concrete policy solutions and said in an interview with the Washington Post that he didn't know what could be done about immigrants who overstay their visa.
Source: Axios.com "What you need to know about 2020" , Apr 29, 2019

Stop refugee issue by dealing with what's driving them here

In his formal announcement, the former Texas congressman offered one of the most important policy proposals of the nascent presidential campaign: He argued that to solve America's problems at the border, America's leaders must "help people in Central America where they are." In so doing, he began laying a foundation to effectively rebut Donald Trump on his signature issue: immigration.
Source: The Atlantic, "Trump's Trap," on 2020 presidential hopefuls , Apr 1, 2019

Condemns President Trump's wall; "Walls end lives"

O'Rourke condemned Mr. Trump's long-promised wall along the southwestern border. "We know that walls do not save lives. Walls end lives," he said in a border rally that competed with one of Mr. Trump's nearby rallies. "In the last 10 years, more than 4,000 children women and men have died trying to come to this country to work jobs that no one will take, to be with a family member, to flee horrific violence, brutality and death."
Source: CBS News, "Who is Beto," on 2020 Democratic primary , Mar 21, 2019

Path to citizenship for all DREAMers

Source: PBS News hour on 2020 Presidential hopefuls , Mar 14, 2019

Raise cap on work visas; find pathway to citizenship

O'Rourke wants to raise the cap on work visas, find a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants, and create a system with the Mexican government that would track who was in the country. "In my opinion, that includes citizenship for DREAMers, a legal path to citizenship for their parents, and the ability to get right with the law, and work legally, and pay taxes, and pursue a path to citizenship for millions of others who've been working the toughest jobs here."
Source: Joe Hagan in Vanity Fair on 2020 Democratic primary , Mar 13, 2019

End separating kids; make DREAMers citizens

There are hundreds of kids yet to be reunited with their parents. We can ensure that never again is another child taken from another parent coming here to seek asylum. We can insist that every one of those kids is reunited with their families. Free Dreamers from any fear of deportation by making them U.S. citizens here. They're already as American as anyone else in any way that's meaningful. Let's make sure that they're also citizens so that they can contribute to their full potential.
Source: CNN Town Hall: 2020 presidential hopefuls , Oct 18, 2018

Opposes "open borders," but new wall unnecessary

I'm not in favor of open borders. We do not need walls, 2,000 miles long, 30 feet high at a cost of $30 billion, walls that would be built not on the international boundary, but miles into the interior, on someone's ranch or farm or home or property. We'll have to use our power of eminent domain to take your property to build a wall that we don't need at a time of record security and safety on the border. The level of northbound apprehensions today is the lowest that it's been since 1971.
Source: CNN Town Hall: 2020 presidential hopefuls , Oct 18, 2018

DREAMers are as American as my kids

Q: Support path to citizenship for "DACA" recipients or "Dreamers," who grew up in US after coming as children?

Ted Cruz (R): No. End DACA. No path to citizenship to Dreamers or anyone else who violates immigration laws.

Beto O'Rourke (D): Protect Dreamers. "As American as my kids. & have done everything we've asked of them." Supports earned path to citizenship for millions here illegally.

Source: 2018 CampusElect.org Issue Guide on Texas Senate race , Oct 9, 2018

End the inhumane & un-American practice of family separation

Q: You're leading a march to Tornillo, where there's a new tent structure for 360 children. Have these kids all been separated from their parents?

O'ROURKE: It is a mix of kids who made that 2,000-mile journey on their own and kids who made that journey with their parents. And, at the moment that they finally thought they had reached safety, and were going to petition for asylum, they were taken from their parents.

Q: What do you say to that argument, that this is all about deterrence?

O'ROURKE: Things have to be really bad for you to leave Honduras, travel 2,000 miles, and hope that once you get here to try to request asylum, only to find that your child will be taken from you. This is inhumane. I would like to say it is un-American, but it's happening right now in America. And that is why we are marching to Tornillo today to bear witness, to make sure everyone in America knows that this is going on. I am working with my colleagues to end the practice of family separation.

Source: CNN 2018 interviews of 2020 hopefuls , Jun 17, 2018

No 2,000-mile, 30-foot-high, $30 billion wall

Q: Would you accept some compromises here if you want to make changes, including, for instance, funding the president's border wall?

O'ROURKE: I think this one is going to be on the American people. And I think, when we make the choice clear that we can do the right thing by this country and for those kids, and not do it at the price of a 2,000-mile, 30-foot-high, $30 billion wall, not doing it at the price of deporting people who are seeking asylum, deporting people in some cases back to certain death, not doing it at the cost of ending family migration, which is the story of this country, certainly of the O'Rourkes, and millions of families who have fled terror or starvation in their countries to be here, I think the American people are going to force us to do the right thing. That always happens in America. It is frustrating. It's slow. It doesn't happen right away. But, ultimately, we get it right. And I'm confident that the American people this time are going to get it right.

Source: CNN 2018 interviews of 2020 hopefuls , Jun 17, 2018

Support the DREAM Act and comprehensive reform

If elected to Congress, I commit to:
Source: 2012 House campaign website, betoforcongress.com, "Issues" , Nov 6, 2012

Opposes exiting US to apply for citizenship.

O`Rourke opposes the PVS survey question on amnesty

Project Vote Smart infers candidate issue stances on key topics by summarizing public speeches and public statements. Congressional candidates are given the opportunity to respond in detail; about 11% did so in the 2012 races.

Project Vote Smart summarizes candidate stances on the following topic: 'Immigration: Do you support requiring illegal immigrants to return to their country of origin before they are eligible for citizenship?'

Source: Project Vote Smart 12-PVS-q12 on Aug 30, 2012

Voted to legalize DREAMer immigrants via military service.

O`Rourke voted NAY Gosar Anti-DACA Amendment to H.R. 5293

Congressional Summary: The House voted on an amendment by Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) to H.R. 5293, the Department of Defense Appropriations Act of 2017. The amendment would prohibit funds from being used to extend the expiration of, or reissue a new expiration date to, the Military Accessions Vital to National Interest (MAVNI) program.

Recommendation by Heritage Foundation to vote YES:(6/16/2016): The MAVNI program is a pilot program authorizing "military services to recruit certain legal immigrants whose skills are considered to be vital to the national interest." However, a DoD memo has made it clear that DACA/DAPA recipients are eligible under this program, essentially opening up a pathway to amnesty for illegal aliens who enlist. By ensuring that this guidance ends, DOD will no longer be able to enlist illegal immigrants through MAVNI.

Recommendation by the ACLU to vote NO: (6/28/2011): The DREAM Act promotes fundamental fairness for young people by allowing access to affordable post-secondary education and military service opportunities, regardless of immigration status, and would provide a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as children, have lived here for at least five years and have graduated from high school. The DREAM Act could result in billions of dollars in additional tax revenue from tapping the potential of DREAM-eligible students and future service personnel. Since September 11, 2001, more than 69,000 immigrants have earned citizenship while serving, and more than 125 who entered military service after that date have made the ultimate sacrifice in war by giving their lives for this nation.

Legislative outcome: Failed House 210 to 211 (no Senate vote)

Source: Supreme Court case 16-H5293 argued on Jun 16, 2016

Opposes more border security, according to CC survey.

O`Rourke opposes the CC survey question on border security

The Christian Coalition Voter Guide inferred whether candidates agree or disagree with the statement, 'Increase Border Security Including Additional Infrastructures ' Christian Coalition's self-description: "Christian Voter Guide is a clearing-house for traditional, pro-family voter guides. We do not create voter guides, nor do we interview or endorse candidates."

Source: Christian Coalition Surve 18CC-12 on Jul 1, 2018

Other candidates on Immigration: Beto O`Rourke on other issues:
2020 Presidential Democratic Primary Candidates:
Sen.Michael Bennet (D-CO)
V.P.Joe Biden (D-DE)
Gov.Steve Bullock (D-MT)
Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D-IN)
Sen.Cory Booker (D-NJ)
Secy.Julian Castro (D-TX)
Mayor Bill de Blasio (D-NYC)
Rep.John Delaney (D-MD)
Rep.Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI)
Sen.Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)
Sen.Mike Gravel (D-AK)
Sen.Kamala Harris (D-CA)
Gov.John Hickenlooper (D-CO)
Gov.Larry Hogan (D-MD)
Gov.Jay Inslee (D-WA)
Sen.Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)
Mayor Wayne Messam (D-FL)
Rep.Seth Moulton (D-MA)
Rep.Beto O`Rourke (D-TX)
Rep.Tim Ryan (D-CA)
Sen.Bernie Sanders (I-VT)
Rep.Eric Swalwell (D-CA)
Sen.Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)
Marianne Williamson (D-CA)
CEO Andrew Yang (D-NY)

2020 GOP and Independent Candidates:
Rep.Justin Amash (Libertarian-MI)
Howie Hawkins (Green-NY)
Gov.John Kasich (R-OH)
V.P.Mike Pence (R-IN)
CEO Howard Schultz (I-WA)
Pres.Donald Trump (R-NY)
Gov.Jesse Ventura (I-MN)
V.C.Arvin Vohra (Libertarian-MD)
Gov.Bill Weld (R-MA&L-NY)

2020 Withdrawn Candidates:
State Rep.Stacey Abrams (D-GA)
Mayor Mike Bloomberg (I-NYC)
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Page last updated: Jun 03, 2019