Beto O'Rourke's Campaign Heads to Mexico to Pander to Asylum Seekers

In this Saturday, Jan. 6, 2018, photo, Texas Democratic Congressman Beto O'Rourke, right, passes a "No Border Wall" sign during a visit to the National Butterfly Center in Mission, Texas, a possible location for a border wall. O’Rourke is forsaking a safe seat in Congress and a rising-star career for the longest of odds in an attempt to unseat Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz. O’Rourke says that after Donald Trump was elected president, he decided he had to do more in politics than stay put in the House. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

Beto in Charlotte, NC
2020 presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke (D) campaigns in Charlotte, NC – 4/15/19. Screengrab via ABC News.

Last I checked, illegal immigrants couldn’t vote. I realize Democrats sometimes get confused about that and, apparently, Robert “Beto” O’Rourke of Texas is no different than his political California cousins who are known to call illegal immigrants their “constituency.”


According to the Associated Press, O’Rourke made a trip across the southern border to meet with people from countries like El Salvador and Honduras, and talked about how horrible Trump is for his “cruel and inhumane policies” when it comes to protecting the border:

In his first international trip as a White House hopeful, the former congressman traveled to Ciudad Juarez, across the Rio Grande from his native El Paso, Texas, to meet what his campaign described as “individuals and families directly impacted by Donald Trump’s cruel and inhumane policies.”

A fluent Spanish speaker, O’Rourke met around a table at a shelter with immigrants from El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala, some of whom wept as they told of being denied entry into the U.S. while their asylum claims are processed. Many said they were terrified they’d be sent back to their home countries, where their lives had been threatened because of abusive spouses, street gang violence or drug smugglers.

O’Rourke made his trip as public as possible with both a live stream and a large Twitter thread telling individual stories.


O’Rourke ended by reiterating what he said during the Democratic debate, where he called for an end to metering and the Remain in Mexico policy.

The unfortunate thing for O’Rourke is that his pandering to migrants isn’t likely going to help him with votes here in the states. According to an April NPR/Marist poll, Hispanic approval of Trump came in at a shocking 50 percent approval. Other polls have him at various other numbers such as 45 to 30 percent, but one thing that caught the eyes of those watching the polls is that they aren’t budging.


According to the Washington Examiner, Trump’s positions don’t seem to be driving the Hispanic vote away from him as many on both the left and the right thought:

“He starts in a much better place for reelection than when he launched his 2016 campaign,” said Daniel Garza, a Bush administration veteran who runs the Libre Initiative, a Koch network group that encourages Hispanics to embrace conservative policies. “One would think immigration would be a major anchor for him, but he’s turned it into at least a push,” he said, suggesting his policies would neither harm nor help the president.

That’s quite a turnabout for Garza. Here is what he told the Washington Examiner about Trump in August 2015: “His positions are indefensible. I would actually rise up against him.”

O’Rourke’s race to garner the vote from Hispanics may not work out as well as he thinks. He’s pandering to people who either can’t vote or have already decided to vote Democrat whether they’re Hispanic or not. The latter group is more likely, and trying to sway them away from other primary candidates may help boost O’Rourke’s numbers, but it’s not nearly going to be enough.

As far as Democrat voters are concerned, O’Rourke is yesterday’s news. His campaign has been bringing in abysmal numbers thanks to a sudden lack of interest from Democrat voters who were behind him during his run against Texas Senator Ted Cruz. In fact, his popularity has drastically faded so badly that he barely qualified to take the debate stage.


If O’Rourke’s plan is to win over the hearts and minds of those willing to get angry over the migrant crisis, he’s got stiff competition in the form of fellow Texas politician Julian Castro. According to Karen Townsend at Hot Air, O’Rourke is calling for an end to certain policies, but Castro is advocating going all the way to open borders, something O’Rourke isn’t quite there on.


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