Presidential hopeful Robert Francis “Beto” O’Rourke proposed giving citizenship to large swaths of illegal aliens present in the United States Saturday at a MoveOn.org “Big Idea” event.
O’Rourke began by revisiting his failed 2018 Senate bid in Texas against Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and thanking the MoveOn crowd for their support, saying they “fundamentally changed the nature of democracy” in Texas. He sold the idea that his campaign “unlocked” Texas’ 38 electoral college votes ahead of 2020. A documentary on O’Rourke’s 2018 campaign recently aired on HBO.
He then launched into his “big idea” for the crowd. “What if we said that we really wanted to ensure every immigrant who has come to this country of immigrants and asylum seekers and refugees was truly treated with the dignity and respect that they deserved and we did not try to mirror Republicans by saying ‘but first we’re gonna get tough on them, break up those families, deport them, internal enforcement, walls, none of that stuff.”
“What if we said…” O’Rourke said before breaking into speaking Spanish. He continued in english hitting against detention centers, deportations, and proclaimed “dreamers” to be as “American as anyone else in this theater here tonight” while saying those individuals brought illegally to the U.S. as children “live in fear of deportation to a country that they do not know.” He proposed making them citizens.
O’Rourke continued slamming President Donald Trump, calling his policies “bullshit” as he claimed the president imposed a “Muslim travel ban.” The executive action President Trump imposed that some deemed a ban on Muslims was not, but rather named countries identified under the administration of President Barack Obama as those President Trump would restrict immigration from temporarily for national security purposes.
He further proposed that the federal government cancel any citizenship application fees for green card holders with permanent residency to become citizens and mail them full filled out citizenship forms. O’Rourke then spoke of “11 million” illegal aliens in the U.S.