Beto O’Rourke criticized former President Barack Obama for deportations, at a house party in Las Vegas.
"The action doesn’t always match the rhetoric, not just from Republicans but from Democrats as well. In just one year of the President Barack Obama administration, 400,000 of the undocumented immigrants here in this country were deported back to their country of origin -- many of them posing no real or violent or criminal threat to this country," the 2020 Democratic presidential candidate said.
"Families torn apart -- perhaps, if you want to assume a motive, with the best intentions, of demonstrating security, whatever that means, by breaking up families, in order to purchase some real reform and relief for millions more.
"I’ve got to assume, because he’s a great man, the greatest president of my lifetime, I know that from his rhetoric that’s what he intended to do. But you know what the result was: nothing. More of the same."
Addressing what makes him different from previous presidents who’ve promised to overhaul immigration but failed, O’Rourke pointed to being from a binational community, "and I proudly remind people that our strength, our success, and, yes, our safety is premised on the fact that we are home to people from all over the world ... choosing us."
"That’s why we’re safe and secure -- not a wall, not militarization, and definitely not deportations," he said.