Many Democrats wanted to weigh in on President Donald Trump’s Oval Office address, and among them was Robert “Beto” O’Rourke, the former Texas congressman who recently lost to Republican Ted Cruz during a highly publicized Senate race.
Trump made it clear that the southern border is dangerously open to waves of illegal immigrants, many of whom have criminal pasts as well as criminal intent, which includes child trafficking across the border that has gotten wildly out of control.
However, if you were to ask O’Rourke, the border is one of the safest places in all the United States.
Taking to Twitter, O’Rourke posted a video where he showed a camera shot of the southern border which he described as “peaceful,” and accused Trump of inciting fear and paranoia to gain public favor for the wall.
“By any measure the border is as safe as it’s ever been,” O’Rourke said. “And the president using fear and anecdote to try to instill anxiety and paranoia to build the political will to construct this wall that would cost $30 billion and take private property and cause death and suffering… that was what we heard from the Oval Office.”
“And we need to meet that fear with the truth, with our ambition, with the best traditions of this country,” he added.
A shot of the U.S.-Mexico border pic.twitter.com/R35klcZ0Ov
— Beto O'Rourke (@BetoORourke) January 9, 2019
O’Rourke’s claim that the southern border is safe couldn’t be more wrong, and the Washington Post itself accidentally describes why in a January article in 2018.
According to WaPo, people who live on the northern side of the border are statistically safer, but this reason is due to the fact that the presence of law enforcement is so concentrated here. Why? Because of the criminal element that comes with porous border security. Illegal immigrants and criminals try their best to avoid law enforcement, forcing them to go quiet whenever they’re near the border.
Christopher Wilson of the Mexico Institute at the Wilson Center even admitted as much according to WaPo, and even adds that traffickers are oftentimes found by border ranchers, and admits that criminal activity isn’t often registered due to avoidance of authorities:
Wilson cautioned about some exceptions. Ranchers in southern Arizona have encountered drug traffickers on their property, and the traffickers are more likely to carry weapons and commit violent crimes. From the ranchers’ porches, the relative safety of their community may not matter when they are looking at traffickers through binoculars.
The traffickers’ criminal activity also would not register in the United States, which could contribute to an artificially low crime rate where illicit activity is going on but not documented by authorities. Traffickers, too, avoid law enforcement — such contact is bad for business — and they are more likely to settle disputes and problems in Mexico, where police and the rule of law are barriers they can more easily overcome.
Artificially low crime stats isn’t safety, and you don’t increase law enforcement at a location because it’s safe. The criminals are there committing crimes that never get logged, and what’s more, the criminal element is definitely present. Should the Democrats get their way, and law enforcement have its hands tied behind its back, how safe would the northern part of the border become after that?
WaPo continues, however, noting that the southern border definitely isn’t safe on the south side:
Drug trafficking is the main driver of violence on Mexico’s side of the border. The northern state of Tamaulipas is among the deadliest in Mexico, with cartels clashing over valuable smuggling routes into South Texas, and violence surging in Tijuana as criminal elements vie for similar routes and an expanding local drug market. Migrants and locals try to avoid being caught in the cartels’ crossfire, but the danger does not end there.
Migrant deaths climbed 17 percent in the first seven months of 2017, according to U.N. data, fueling speculation that tougher rhetoric and enhanced security led to migrants taking riskier routes across rivers and in open desert, a “balloon effect” of security measures forcing migrants to try their luck farther from cities and highways.
Migrants also turn to smugglers, who often charge thousands of dollars to get them across the border. In many cases, the smugglers are tied to the very drug cartels whose violence migrants are trying to avoid by crossing the border. In July, 10 migrants suffocated in a tractor-trailer parked in San Antonio.
So it’s especially not safe for anyone on the southern side.
It’s likely O’Rourke is attempting to tout a false idea about the southern border in order to score political points by pandering to his left-leaning base, but the Texas Democrat couldn’t be more wrong, and touting the lie that all is peaceful at the location he lives at does not address the rest of the problems our open borders cause.
Even the Washington Post admitted that Trump’s border wall would solve a lot of problems and that there is an ongoing crisis at the border.
O’Rourke is painting a false picture, and people will suffer if they believe it.