Government

Rep. O'Rourke against border wall; residents near border fence have mixed reaction

O'Rourke against border wall

EL PASO, Texas - Representative Beto O'Rourke invited President Donald Trump to come down to El Paso during a press conference on Wednesday, because O'Rourke said Trump's idea of a dangerous border is not accurate.

"He's obviously scared of something, or trying to to scare people about something on the border," O'Rourke said. "I'd love for him to come down and point out just what he's scared of."

There's already 600 miles worth of fencing along the U.S./Mexico border. O'Rourke said adding even more won't fix key issues.

"We have record low apprehensions -- very low apprehensions in this sector. We're already spending $20 Billion a year to secure the border, and El Paso is the safest city," O'Rourke said. "No matter how big, and bold, and terrific the wall is...it won't solve the issue of Central American refugees who turn themselves in at our ports of entry."

O'Rourke said he was frustrated by politicians in Washington, D.C. painting a completely different picture of life on the border.

"The only thing literally, physically standing between him and being able to do that, is us. We have the opportunity and the responsibility to share our story about being the safest city," O'Rourke said. "Not in spite of the fact that we're connected to Mexico, but in large part because we are connected to Mexico."

Robert Marshall has lived right next to the border in Sunland Park for 30 years. There is border fencing near his house, but he welcomes the idea of there being a wall across the whole Southern border.

"It seems alright, because we do get a lot of people crossing over, and it's kind of scary," Marshall said. "I have kids, and it's kind of scary with the kids, because you never know how they are."

Gilberto Mendoza lives a block away from Marshall. He sees things differently.

"I think it's going to be an unnecessary waste of money," Mendoza said in Spanish. "What's a wall going to stop? People are always going to try and cross. The only thing it's going to do is waste our taxes."

Mendoza said he'll sometimes see undocumented immigrants near his home, but he doesn't think they're a threat.

"I have seen several people, but I've never encountered anyone that's trafficking drugs," Mendoza said. "They're young kids that come from other places, El Salvador or Guatemala. I think they're people that are just looking for a better life."


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