Is it a coincidence that Beto O’Rourke visited with asylum-seekers in Mexico Sunday and by early Monday morning the border crossing he used to go into the country was shut down? Maybe, or maybe not. The border crossing at an international border bridge in El Paso was closed in response to a large mob of protesters in Ciudad Juárez.
Ciudad Juarez is the same city that 2020 presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke visited Sunday to court asylum-seekers. Described as Beto’s first international trip since he declared his candidacy for president, O’Rourke crossed the Bridge of the Americas, a port of entry Sunday to meet with asylum-seekers waiting on the Mexican side of the southern border due to the Remain in Mexico program.
Beto (nee Robert Francis O’Rourke) is desperately seeking publicity for his presidential campaign, which is flailing, at the same time that fellow Texan Julian Castro’s campaign is getting favorable reviews from the liberal media outlets after the first Democrat debate. What better way than to go to a border town and pander to Central Americans trying to cross into the U.S.? O’Rourke first spoke to the asylum-seekers at a restaurant and then he visited a shelter run by the Catholic Church. Actions have consequences, though, and by 2:00 A.M. Monday morning, the border crossing was closed due to about 250 people in Ciudad Juárez chanting “vamos a cruzar” (“We will cross.”) The group was described as “large and unruly.”
The decision to close the bridge came as “a large and unruly group formed on the Mexican side,” according to CBP spokesman Roger Maier.
Local TV station KTSM reported the group was comprised of about 250 Cuban and Salvadoran migrants; Ciudad Juarez newspaper El Diario reported the group was comprised of Cubans and Hondurans.
The Mexican National Guard deployed troops to the area, but they did not engage the protesters, according to El Diario.
CBP closed all lanes of traffic on the Paso del Norte Bridge, and reopened pedestrian lanes at 5:25 a.m., Meier said in an email.
Fortunately, it looks as though Mexico’s leadership stepped up, as they have agreed to do, and the Mexican National Guard successfully calmed the situation down. Note the inclusion of Cubans in the group of Salvadoran migrants. They are all being held on the Mexican side of the border because of enforcement of the Remain in Mexico program put in place by the Trump administration. Beto doesn’t approve of the program and he was on an apology tour along the border, sounding very much like a blame America first candidate. He told the asylum-seekers that the administration’s program is “unlawful”.
He blames those being forced to wait on “the Trump administration’s unlawful ‘Remain in Mexico’ program,” which has allowed the United States to return thousands of Central Americans to Mexican border cities as they wait to hear about their asylum claims. It is meant to reduce the attractiveness of U.S. asylum requests that in the past had allowed claimants to remain in the U.S. for years as their cases wound their way through the courts.
Ponder on that for a minute. A candidate for President of the United States traveled to Mexico to bash an American administration’s program meant to assist in homeland security measures. That truly is a first. The open borders crowd is so invested in their far-left ideology that Beto O’Rourke’s campaign thought this was a good idea. After he crossed back into the United States, he staged a rally outside the U.S. Border Patrol facility in Clint, Texas.
Is it any wonder that the people waiting to come over the border were agitated and “unruly” by early Monday morning? I don’t believe in coincidences and it makes sense to me that this was a direct consequence of Beto O’Rourke’s visit Sunday. Why wouldn’t the people be all torqued up after hearing an American presidential candidate describe the very program keeping them where they are as “unlawful”? Their sense of entitlement to cross the border was only further encouraged by Beto’s inane remarks.
O’Rourke live-streamed his international publicity stunt on Facebook. He indicates that he is using people desperate to come across the border as props, exploiting their stories to push his own agenda. Are we woke yet?
“We hope, by sharing these stories, that the conscience of our country is awoken right now, and the need to change the policies that we have in place” becomes apparent, O’Rourke said via a livestream on his Facebook page.
US Customs and Border Protection spokesman Roger Maier said the Central Americans (and Cubans) “posed a threat to overrun the facility.”
The demonstrators “posed a threat to overrun the facility,” he said, forcing CBP to employ “port hardening measures” and preventing travelers from entering the United States via the Paso del Norte International Bridge.
No arrests were reported on the US side, Maier said.
Authorities began permitting pedestrians to cross a few hours after the shutdown, and by 8 a.m. (10 a.m. ET), they opened four inspection booths and traffic was moving slowly, CBP said.
Photos from the bridge between El Paso and Juarez, Mexico, also known as the Santa Fe Bridge, showed police standing behind barriers and concertina wire. A live cam showed a military-style tactical vehicle blocking a lane of traffic.
The group, between 250 and 300 strong, was composed largely of Cuban and Salvadoran migrants who gathered at the border around midnight, CNN affiliate KTSM reported.
A witness told the station the protesters were chanting, “Vamos a cruzar,” Spanish for, “We are going to cross.” The group dispersed before 6 a.m., KTSM reported.
CBP Air and Marine, other federal agencies and the El Paso Police Department provided support at the crossing, the CBP said.
This bridge, a port of entry, may not seem particularly important but it is the crossing at El Paso, one of the busiest crossings into the U.S. Every day, there is a large volume of both pedestrian and vehicle traffic.
In 2018, almost 12.4 million personal vehicles carrying more than 22.2 million passengers entered the United States via the crossing, according to the US Department of Transportation. Another 7.2 million pedestrians entered the country there. Only the San Ysidro crossing in San Diego boasted more pedestrians and personal vehicles.
O’Rourke is a resident of El Paso. He knew exactly what he was doing – piling on to the frustration felt by the very people he was exploiting for political gain.