Beto O’Rourke unleashes on Biden for ‘failing’ on border: ‘They are human beings’

The former lawmaker from Texas warned that Democrats were ‘Unexcited about Biden, and that is putting it politely’

Graeme Massie
Los Angeles
Friday 10 November 2023 20:39 GMT
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Beto O’Rourke unleashes on Biden for ‘failing’ on border: ‘They are human beings’

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Beto O’Rourke has slammed Joe Biden for his “failure” to deal with immigration at the southern border and has urged the White House to treat migrants as “f*****g human beings.”

The former lawmaker from Texas attacked the president’s policies during a Harvard Institute of Politics forum on Thursday.

“On some counts, Biden has been successful … on other counts, he’s really failing us,” said Mr O’Rourke.

He went on to highlight the president’s asylum ban, which bars people who crossed through another country on their way to the US southern border, unless they have previously applied and been denied asylum elsewhere, or if they have received an appointment at a port of entry through the government’s app.

“That makes it so hard for people to lawfully, safely and in an orderly fashion come to this country when they cannot stay in their own, because why the hell else would you travel 2,000 miles, the length of this continent, much of it on foot, some of it on top not inside of a train … facing rape, torture, kidnapping by these trans-national criminal organizations,” he said.

Mr O’Rourke became passionate when he said that more migrants had died this year than any on record.

Migrants walk by a string of buoys placed on the water along the Rio Grande border with Mexico in Eagle Pass, Texas
Migrants walk by a string of buoys placed on the water along the Rio Grande border with Mexico in Eagle Pass, Texas (AFP via Getty Images)

“They are drowning, they are dying of dehydration and exposure in the desert, and these are little babies and mothers and f*****g human beings who don’t deserve to be treated that way.”

And he added: “What I want from President Biden is to do the right things, the things that he promised us he was going to do once he was president.”

Mr O’Rourke told the audience that Mr Biden faced a difficult election in 2024, when he will try and secure his second term in the White House.

“It is no secret that Democratic voters are unexcited about Biden, and that is putting it politely,” he said as he urged the president to work on policies that are “bold and politically challenging” in the year ahead.

Razor wire along the Rio Grande in Eagle Pass, Texas
Razor wire along the Rio Grande in Eagle Pass, Texas (Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

Mr O’Rourke has lost statewide races in Texas for US Senate and governor and also failed in his 2020 presidential bid.

But he says he still supports Mr Biden as the Democratic party’s nominee in November, in a likely re-match with former president Donald Trump.

“What if you could step out of convention, step out of what has been deemed safe by polling in the wizards behind the curtain, and you just said what you knew to be true, but you did it for good?” Mr O’Rourke said.

“Increase instead of restrict asylum, to improve processing for those who come here, to get them work authorization so they are not dependent on charity or draining public coffers, but to earn a paycheck, provide for themselves a family and pay back into this country like every immigrant who’s ever come to America has done.”

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