O’Rourke condemns Texas migrant traps: Biden 'must step in' because Abbott 'has blood on his hands'

O’Rourke condemns Texas migrant traps: Biden 'must step in' because Abbott 'has blood on his hands'
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Editor's note: This story originally included opinionated language that is inconsistent with an objective news report. AlterNet regrets the error.

Former three-term United States Congressman, Senate, and gubernatorial candidate Beto O'Rourke (D-Texas) appeared on MSNBC on Friday and fiercely condemned the treatment of migrants along the US-Mexico border that is occurring under Texas Republican Governor Greg Abbott's watch.

"You said that what the Texas governor, Abbott, is doing along the border is criminal. What did you mean by that?" host José Díaz-Balart asked.

"Everything that he's doing right now, especially around Eagle Pass, is illegal," O'Rourke began. "Placing a floating barrier, for example; it's a series of buoys that are connected with netting underwater. It's effectively a drowning device. The governor and the head of Texas DPS have admitted as much and have said, 'Well, maybe this will deter people from even trying to cross.' They've also placed barrels wrapped in razor wire under the surface of the river. Migrants and asylum seekers are becoming entangled and entrapped in this. And as you pointed out, DPS troopers are literally pushing those migrants, including children and infants back into the river and in exposed conditions where the temperature's been over a hundred degrees, not for days, but for weeks. José, so far this year, twenty-six asylum seekers, including infants and children, have died. Many of them have drowned. Greg Abbott has blood on his hands."

READ MORE: Miscarrying 19-year-old migrant ensnared in border trap proves 'inhumane treatment': report

O'Rourke emphasized, however, that "we can't stop at criticizing the governor. We must continue to look for solutions, and those solutions can only be found in one place. That is in the Biden administration. His administration has the responsibility to enforce federal law, to honor our treaty obligations with Mexico, and to protect the lives of these asylum seekers who literally have no other place to go."

Next, O'Rourke recalled that "the last time I saw you in person, José, in El Paso, was just after the massacre in El Paso, Texas, August 3rd, 2019, twenty-three people ultimately were killed by a man who was compelled to come to this community to stop in his own words, 'The Hispanic invasion of Texas.' When we militarize the border and when we treat defenseless vulnerable refugees as though they're an invading army, we supercharge these white nationalist terrorists who do things like the murder in El Paso in 2019.

O'Rourke then concluded that "the president must step in. I know that he wants to. I know that he can. Sometimes it just takes public pressure to get someone like President Biden to do the right thing, and so I'm asking my fellow Americans to step up and join me in asking the president to step in and do something in Texas and do it now."

Watch the clip below via MSNBC or at this link.

READ MORE: Racist truck driver who told neighbors to 'go back to Mexico' is an immigrant himself: FBI

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