Monday, June 18, 2018

From a Tornillo Protest to a Roundtable with Santa Fe Shooting Survivors, Beto O'Rourke Had a Busy Father's Day

Posted By on Mon, Jun 18, 2018 at 12:15 PM

  • Twitter / El Paso Times
Congressman Beto O'Rourke, who's running against incumbent Senator Ted Cruz, didn't take the day off for Father's Day. Instead, he led a march protesting the "zero-tolerance" immigration policy and met with students from Santa Fe High School for a roundtable.

On Sunday morning, O'Rourke, who has been a strong critic against President Donald Trump, led thousands of people in a march outside of Tornillo, where the Trump administration has set up tents to serve as immigration detention centers.

"We decided there wouldn't be a more powerful way to spend Father's Day than with children who have just been taken from their fathers, children who have been taken from their mothers, children who won't be able to be with their family," O'Rourke told the Texas Tribune.

This makeshift detention is currently holding 200 minors, with almost a quarter of those children being separated from their parents at the border. O'Rourke told the Tribune that children separated from their family are changed to an "unaccompanied" status.

Tornillo is about 40 miles from the heart of El Paso, O'Rourke's hometown. Among other notable attendees were Lupe Valdez, the Democrat running against Greg Abbott for governor, and Gina Ortiz Jones, who hopes to unseat Rep. Will Hurd. Hurd visited the centers on Saturday, and said it's not acceptable means to resolve illegal immigration.

In the evening, O'Rourke met with survivors from the May 18 Santa Fe High School shooting. The meeting was held at a Galveston-area home and was closed to the media, but was shared on Facebook Live. O'Rourke noted that he had spoken with some of the students before, but wanted to do more. He said it's important to hear students' stories and listen to their suggestions for making schools secure.

"I don't have all the answers," he said. "But I think what these young people and their parents are forcing is the conversation."

You can watch that full conversation here:

O'Rourke and his team ended the night with Whataburger. He reflected on his work for the day before hitting the road.
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