Beto O'Rourke launches 2020 campaign in El Paso, says it 'represents America at its very best'
Democrat and former congressman Beto O’Rourke kicked off his presidential campaign in Texas last night. O’Rourke started things off in his home city, and the site of much media attention: El Paso. Then he traveled to two more cities in Texas: Houston and, finally, Austin.
Launching in his home city is nothing new; Bernie Sanders launched in Brooklyn, Kamala Harris in Oakland, and Cory Booker in Newark, just to name a few. But given how much immigration and, specifically, the border wall, are in the media, El Paso feels especially significant.
On Saturday evening, O’Rourke orchestrated his first rally literal blocks from the U.S.-Mexico border. O’Rourke called El Paso a “city of asylum seekers and immigrants.”
To the cheers of many, he vowed to support Dreamers. While he hasn’t been known to offer policy details, he did talk about comprehensive immigration reform, including: “If we are really serious about security, we have a golden opportunity — Republicans, independents and Democrats alike to work on comprehensive immigration reform to rewrite this country’s immigration laws in our own image with our own values, and in the best traditions of the United States of America.”
In terms of other policy, O’Rourke doubled down on his long-standing position that climate change is a top priority. He also touched on paid family leave, unions, legalizing marijuana (including expunging arrests for marijuana possession), and ending cash bail. To an extremely excited crowd, O’Rourke said, “El Paso, to me, represents America at its very best.”