Donald Trump is desperate for whatever immigration package comes out of Congress to include funding for his border wall that Mexico was supposed to pay for.
And White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders is keen to tell the public why we should listen to Trump, rather than all the experts who say a wall is impractical, an environmental disaster, will result in countless Americans losing jobs and property, and will not actually make us safer.
On Monday evening, Sanders jumped on social media to give an example of the benefits of a border wall.
“Ask El Paso, Texas (now one of America’s safest cities) across the border from Juarez, Mexico (one of the world’s most dangerous) if a wall works,” Sanders tweeted.
But Sanders should have done her homework, because she was soon treated to a lesson from Democratic Rep. Beto O’Rourke, a lifelong El Pasoan:
Walls have nothing to do with it. We’ve been ranked 1st, 2nd or 3rd safest city for last 20 years, including before any wall. In addition to great law enforcement, our safety is connected to the fact that we are a city of immigrants. We treat eachother with respect & dignity. https://t.co/VS6XQyEEFs
— Beto O'Rourke (@BetoORourke) January 16, 2018
O’Rourke was not finished.
“El Paso is also home to more than 9,000 Dreamers, young Americans who make us a better, safer, stronger community,” he tweeted. “Let’s focus on keeping them here, contributing to our success… instead of building walls that we don’t need.”
Trump has been criticized for rejecting a bipartisan agreement that would have protected the DREAMers in exchange for many new restrictions on immigration and partial funding for barriers at the border — as O’Rourke indirectly reminded Sanders.
O’Rourke has gained national attention as a rising Democratic Party star, and the presumptive nominee to challenge Ted Cruz for Senate. He has spent the past several months touring the Lone Star State, and helped families in coastal towns rebuild after Hurricane Harvey.
Trump and his allies need to pay attention to the communities that would be affected by his border boondoggle and stop using them as props. O’Rourke is on the front lines of the issue and knows the truth well — and was happy to fill Sanders in.