Since 2017, President Trump has enacted many controversial policies that have Democrats spinning in their office chairs. In fact, the president’s intolerant rhetoric and misleading accusations have even managed to spark discontent among his own party members. The Family Separation Policy and the president’s obstinate desire for a border wall have dropped his public approval rating below 40%, possibly damaging his chances at reelection. With 2020 drawing closer each day, Democratic candidates and election organization are buckling down and preparing for a challenging and ruthless campaign season.
Beto O’Rourke, a former Texas congressman, is one such candidate.
O’Rourke & the Celebration of El Paso
On February 11, 2019, O’Rourke led a march through El Paso, Texas while President Trump hosted his own campaign rally in a different city. O’Rourke announced to his audience that if he had the power, he’d tear down the border wall that currently separates El Paso and Mexico. His speech reflects an article he previously submitted to Medium, where he denounced Trump’s campaign rally and explained, “Monday we will welcome the President to one of the safest cities in the United States. Safe not because of walls, and not in spite of the fact that we area city of immigrants. Safe because we are a city of immigrants and because we treat each other with dignity and respect.” While President Trump asserted that the bollard fence is proof that “walls work,” O’Rourke countered his bombastic assumption with statistics that prove the fence’s construction in 2008 “didn’t make us any safer.”
O’Rourke also criticized President Trump’s decision to declare a national emergency just to fund his costly vanity wall. He said, “It’s hard to make a rational case for an emergency declaration or troops on the border or any amount of additional border walls or border fencing or steel slats…We do this, whether it is the war of terror, the war on drugs – we project our fears and anxieties to places like El Paso, to the U.S.-Mexico border, and punish the people who live here. There’s no reason to do that. But it is the fear and the anxiety that is stoked by people who should and frankly do know better that results in these policies.” He enhanced his point by calming that the United States can be made safer by “treating people with dignity and respect – not militarizing communities, not adding even more to the $20 billion a year that we’re spending on border security.”
O’Rourke: Walls Are “Perverse”
After the “Celebration of El Paso,” O’Rourke met with MSNBC host Chris Hayes to clarify why believes walls don’t save lives: “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. What that has done is not in any demonstrable way made us safer. It has cost us tens of billions of dollars to build and to maintain and it has pushed migrants and asylum seekers and refugees to the most inhospitable, the most hostile stretches of the U.S.-Mexico border…It’s perverse, the response that we have to legitimate concerns and problems, international terrorism, which was orchestrated in Afghanistan by al Qaeda, carried out by people from Saudi Arabia, we punish people from Mexico at the U.S.-Mexico border, deport in one year alone 400,000 Mexican nationals from this country from a response to 9/11. We wall off 600 miles of the U.S.-Mexico border. Precisely zero terrorists or terrorist organization have ever used the border to attack a single American.”
Fortunately, O’Rourke isn’t alone in challenging the president’s “national emergency.” President Trump’s declaration that he “didn’t need to” declare a national emergency has already provoked four separate lawsuits that have been filed by the Center for Biological Diversity, the American Civil Liberties Union, Public Citizen, and a coalition of 16 democratic states. The California-led group of attorneys general claims that the president’s thoughtless comment confirms “that the emergency declaration reflected his personal preference to construct the wall more quickly, rather than an actual urgent need for it to be built immediately…President Trump has made clear that his emergency declaration was triggered by his inability to secure funding for the border wall from Congress rather than an actual national emergency at the border.”
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The Trump Administration is constructing a concerning precedent about what it means to be an “American” in today’s political and social climate. Their immigration policy is clear: they don’t want immigrants entering the United States, legal or otherwise. The outcome of your immigration case can’t be contingent on a Democratic victory in 2020. It’s imperative that you turn to a skilled legal professional who has a comprehensive understanding of fluctuating federal immigration procedures and regulations.
At Guerra Sáenz, PL, our Coral Springs immigration attorneys always stay up-to-date on changing immigration policies. Our mission as a law firm is to provide compassionate counsel and effective legal services to our clients. Contact us today if you have any concerns about your legal status or need guidance in an immigration-related matter.
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