in the vicinityVideoBeto O’rourke kicks off its grassroots campaign in El Paso, TX
Focus 2020 democratic presidential candidate Beto O’rourke on Saturday announced his White house bid in his home state of Texas, and used an address in El Paso, and in particular the hot topic of immigration.
“If we really believe that we are a country of immigrants and asylum-seekers and refugees, the very premise of our strength, success and our safety, let us free of charge every single dreamer from any fear of deportation,” he said, referring to illegal immigrants who entered the country as children.
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O’rourke, a former Congressman, does not displace could, Sen. Ted Cruz in 2018 the Texas Senate race, spoke in his hometown of El Paso, just a few blocks from the U.S.-Mexican border, one of the three rallies in the state. He spoke on a small stage in the center, to move quickly through the political themes and Tempo from one side to the other, while surrounded by a sign-language interpreter.
“This is our moment of truth, and we may not want to be found,” he said of the crowd. “The challenges before us are the largest in our lifetime.”
His speech came during a week in which Trump has said that he is considering, includes fight the southern border by Mexico and the alleged inaction, the increasing flows of illegal immigrants in the country, and weeks after Trump declared a national state of emergency on the border for a wall on the border.
But, as Democrats increasingly radical attitudes to challenge issues such as the abolition of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) — with O’rourke going so far as to, existing barriers are to be reduced — the former Congressman, struck a more bipartisan tone in El Paso.
In line with its 2018 campaign, O’rourke said it was a “Golden opportunity” for the Democrats to work with Republicans on “comprehensive immigration reform” and “rewrite this country’s immigration laws in our own image, our own values, and in the best traditions of the United States of America.”
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In his address, he touched on a number of issues, the result sometimes in rapid-fire. This included more liberal positions such as the Federal legalization of pot, the fight against climate change, a promising new Voting Rights Act to “end gerrymandering” and “high quality universal health care.” In a nod to the city’s large Hispanic population, he spoke in Spanish for the last part of his address.
With a Democratic field, adopted increasingly, the left, the once-fringe-policy, it is not clear how well O’rourke more centrist is a political attitude that allows him to remain competitive in the red state of Texas is the fare on the national stage.
So far, though, the first polls are indicating that his support is solid. A recent Quinnipiac University national poll showed O’rourke in third place among Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents.
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While he officially launched his campaign on Saturday, O’rourke, announced his candidacy two weeks ago and drew large crowds and lots of media buzz, as he campaigned in all four of the early voting primary and caucus States. He also threw an eye-popping $6 million in its first 24 hours as a candidate.
O’rourke was scheduled to speak later Saturday at the historically black Texas Southern University in Houston before an evening event in the vicinity of Austin, the state Capitol.
Fox News’ Paul Steinhauser and The Associated Press contributed to this report.