Representative O’Rourke visits Rio Grande Valley to address separation policy
Texas congressman and senate hopeful Beto O’Rourke visited the Rio Grande Valley on Monday to address recent reports of migrant families being separated at the border upon detention.
During his visit, O’Rourke met with agents from U.S. Customs and Border Protection and Immigration and Customs Enforcement. He also visited a Border Patrol station and an immigrant processing center, where he met a woman and child from Honduras seeking asylum in the United States.
“I can only imagine the trauma experienced by that 7-year-old girl when she learns that she is no longer going to be with her mother,” he said. “She was holding onto her mother’s hand for dear life.”
On Monday, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions called for tighter restrictions on asylum seekers. Under this new proposal, those fleeing from domestic or gang violence cannot establish an asylum claim.
O’Rourke describes the move as unhumanitarian and a “violation of international law.”
“These are folks who are in absolute desperate circumstances and conditions,” O’Rourke said. “And we are a better country than the one that is right now separating people from their families.”
Instead, O’Rourke proposed a different type of approach to this issue.
“We need to be in Honduras, Guatemala, (and) El Salvador,” he said. “We need to work with civil society on the ground there, with their governments to see if we can resolve the conditions that have caused that mother to make this very dangerous, 2,000-mile journey. Instead, we are waiting until she gets here and punishing her.”