Democrat Beto O’Rourke has denounced the busing or airlifting of migrants from states like Texas and Florida to places like Martha’s Vineyard as “cruel and mean.”
Appearing on the The daily show with host Trevor Noah, it was reported to Mr. O’Rourke that polls showed a majority of Texans supporting the actions of Texas Governor Greg Abbott and Ron DeSantis of Florida.
“I actually think that this extremism that we see in our current governor and government in Texas reflects the fact that we have a badly broken democracy,” said Mr. O’Rourke, who is challenging Mr. Abbott for governor. . “Seven million Texans didn’t vote in the last election.”
Mr O’Rourke said opinion polls may reflect a broken immigration system and people feel the need to “do something”.
“What I’m proposing is instead of these stunts, which are so cruel and mean, not only to these migrants, but to those of us who live in Texas, to the Border Patrol agents, to who we blamed on this whole immigration system that is so badly broken…” he said.
“What if instead we had a Texas-based guest worker program or the ability to join the family and not wait 20 years in line?”
He added: “What if Texas led the way by rewriting our immigration laws to reflect our values, our interests and our needs, and we said, ‘Look, if you want to come to this country, you have to follow our laws, “but our laws will follow our values.” I want Texas to lead on this.
A Texas sheriff is currently investigating last week’s migrant flights, which Mr. DeSantis chartered to move immigrants from the southern border to Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts. Florida taxpayers footed the bill for two planes to fly around 50 Venezuelans to the island, a move denounced by Democrats but backed by many Republicans, including Mr Abbott who flew migrants to places such as Washington DC .
Polls show Mr. O’Rourke, 49, trailing Mr. Abbott, 64, by up to nine points, and many commentators believe the former congressman will not be able to repeat the type of turnout which he succeeded in 2018, when he narrowly beat incumbent Republican Senator Ted Cruz.
Mr. O’Rourke claimed his numbers would be increased by Mr. Abbott’s adoption of some of the toughest anti-abortion rules in the country. He thinks women of all political stripes will come out, as well as men who oppose Mr Abbott’s hardline views.
“Instead of succumbing to the temptation of despair or submitting to it, Texans are rising up and volunteering for this campaign,” O’Rourke said on the Wednesday night show.
“They knock on doors. They’re running in record numbers and they’re going to win this election in November, which is really a referendum on all of these issues – are we going to be defined by this extremism and our hatred and the way we scare each other each other? Will we get together and do great things together?
The Independent Gt