- Some 15,000 migrants, mostly Haitians, gathered in Del Rio, Texas, last week seeking asylum.
- Beto O’Rourke penned an op-ed blaming the Biden administration for worsening the crisis.
- He said the administration should’ve seen the problem coming and that it was too slow to respond.
In an op-ed published Friday, Beto O’Rourke said what happened at the border with Haitian migrants was “years in the making,” but that the Biden administration’s failures made it worse.
An estimated 15,000 Haitian migrants gathered beneath a bridge in Del Rio, Texas, last week after arriving at the Texas-Mexico border in search of asylum. The large number of migrants led to poor conditions in the camp and disturbing confrontations with border patrol.
“What has happened in Del Rio is wrong. It didn’t have to happen,” O’Rourke, who formerly represented El Paso, Texas, in the US House of Representatives, began in the op-ed published by El Paso Matters.
He noted that most of the migrants had come from various countries in South America, having been displaced by the 2010 earthquake that devastated Haiti. Now, for a variety of reasons, those displaced Haitians sought asylum in the US.
O’Rourke argued that the US should have seen it coming: “We have diplomatic missions in each of these countries and an unrivaled global intelligence network.”
He also criticized the White House for a slow response once the migrants arrived, “leaving the people of Del Rio and the Border Patrol to their own devices.”
He blasted the administration’s use of Title 42, a Trump-era policy, “to immediately, and without due process, repatriate Haitians back to the country they left a decade ago, one whose streets are now ruled by gangs and criminals.”
President Joe Biden has responded to some of the criticism aimed his way, saying he took “responsibility” for the actions of the border patrol agents who confronted migrants horseback and that those agents “will pay.”
—ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) September 24, 2021
O’Rourke also criticised the actions of Republican politicians: “We need some leadership at this moment. Not the photo ops favored by our governor and GOP congressmen, hungry to pose tough in front of suffering people.”
He ended by saying the US must “dispense with cynical Trump-era policies and follow current US law to ensure due process for asylum seekers” and “to hold accountable those who would treat immigrants as less than human.”
He called for an overhaul of US immigration policy, saying it should be driven by people from border communities.
O’Rourke, who has previously run for US Senate and the presidency as a Democrat, is said to be considering a 2022 run for governor of Texas.