Robert Francis “Beto” O’Rourke’s (D-El Paso) platform calls for a reduction in border security efforts, however his hometown of El Paso is proof that “Trump’s wall can work.”

Violence is continually increasing in Mexico, with the Mexican government reporting 2017 as its worst year for homicides in decades; a 27 percent increase over 2016. As of March 2018, the U.S. Department of State issued a level 3 travel warning labeling the city of Juárez as a high-risk area, where the U.S. government is warning American travelers the government “cannot help you.”

Just across the border from Juarez is Texas’ sixth-largest city, El Paso. According to the New York Post, this town is considered a success story for border security. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) data reveals a drop of illegal immigration from the start of border wall-fencing construction in 2006 and to the completion in 2010, drastically reducing border apprehensions by 89 percent. Immigrant crossings in 2006 were at 122,261, and were reduced to 12,251 in 2010 once the fence was finished. Once the 131 mile-long border wall fencing surrounding El Paso’s border was complete, the community began to see a reduction in crime as drugs entering El Paso were decreased by half.

However, O’Rourke begs to differ.

“That wall in itself is a racist reaction to a racist myth that does not reflect the reality of this country at all,” said O’Rourke. He also boasts his city to be considered the “safest city in Texas.” Where in 2013, El Paso County Commissioners signed a proclamation recognizing local law enforcement including CBP for making El Paso the safest large city in the nation per capita. Still O’Rourke refuses to acknowledge the link between the aforementioned border wall fence and public safety.

O’Rourke’s approach is contrary to his opponent, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tx), whose “Tough as Texas” campaign recently received the “proud endorsement” of the National Border Patrol Council (NBPC).

NBPC President Brandon Judd stated in a press release,

[Ted Cruz] can’t be bought and he will stand firm in supporting border security, which directly impacts both the national and economic security of this great nation. He is a true friend of Border Patrol Agents and our mission … We ask all Texans to please stand with those who put their lives on the line to protect our borders and vote for Senator Ted Cruz.

Cruz stands in stark contrast to Beto’s sugar-coated platform on immigration. O’Rourke’s website reads:

An Immigration System Texas Can Trust: At a time when the border with Mexico has never been safer, and when we’ve never spent so much on border security, the surest way to improve safety and security is not to build a wall or spend billions more, but to ensure that we are maximizing the potential from everyone in this state, treating each other with respect and dignity.

Once again, isn’t it ironic O’Rourke’s hometown of El Paso is directly opposite from one of the most dangerous cities in the world? The mayor of Juárez, Armando Cabada, recognized the spike in homicides in 2016, all while O’Rourke repeatedly fails to acknowledge the significance of the 131-mile fence bordering El Paso.

“The truth is walls work,” stated US Border Patrol acting deputy commissioner Ronald Vitello at a recent press conference in Washington D.C., for the commencement of border wall construction.

The system used in El Paso serves as a model for the “big, beautiful wall” President Trump promised along the U.S./Mexico border. Trump’s border wall construction commenced in the El Paso sector on April 9 in Santa Teresa, New Mexico.

However, liberal lawmakers have stipulated that the new border wall could not resemble new prototypes in San Diego, fearing they’d be criticized for supporting Trump’s wall. $76 million was used from the 2017 Department of Homeland Security funding for a “bollard” wall style for a 20-mile section to replace its’ vehicle barrier.

Currently, $1.6 billion of funding have been approved by Congress for 100 miles of border-wall construction along California, New Mexico, and Texas. The largest portion of construction, 33 miles of which will be built in the Rio Grande Valley is expected to take place later this year.

Miriam Cepeda

Miriam Cepeda is the Rio Grande Valley Bureau Chief for Texas Scorecard. A second-generation Mexican American, she is both fluent in English and Spanish and has been influential in grassroots organizing and conservative engagement within Hispanic communities. If you don’t find her “Trumping”, you can find her saving animals, running her dog, hiking the Andes, or volunteering with the U.S. National Park Service.