politics

President Trump And Beto O’Rourke Both Speak In The Same City, On The Same Night, Here’s What Happened

realdonaldtrump / betoorourke / Instagram

On Monday night, President Trump spoke to about 6,500 supporters in El Paso, Texas, in what is the first of many such rallies leading up to the 2020 election. His rallies, which mostly consist of his own supporters, are nothing new and have been a common sight since he took office. Yet, for Trump, Monday’s rally was different. Less than a mile away from his rally, El Paso native Beto O’Rourke, who came close to unseating Sen. Ted Cruz in November, was the one stealing all the headlines.

It’s not every day that an ex-congressman can get under the skin of the president of the United States.

O’Rourke, who has yet to announce a candidacy for president, held a rally aimed at promoting the reality of the situation at the border. He tried to debunk many of the claims Trump has made in the last few months arguing for his border wall.

“We are making a stand for truth against lies and hate and ignorance and intolerance. We are going to show the country who we are,” O’Rourke said at his rally. “We’re going to make a stand to ensure that we live up to our promise, to our potential, to our purpose as a country.”

There are substantive disagreements between both men and Monday’s dual-rallies showed these differences. For Trump, holding his rally in El Paso was strictly a political move because of its close location on the U.S.-Mexico border. For O’Rourke, it was an opportunity to spell the truth of what’s really happening in his home district’s backyard.

There were false claims of crowd sizes from the president.

From the start, there was already misleading statements from President Trump about the size of his rally crowd. “We have, let’s say, 35,000 people tonight, he has 200 people, 300 people — not too good,” Trump said in reference to O’Rourke’s rally. He would later claim that the actual size was 10,000 people but in reality, the El Paso County Coliseum holds about 6,500 people. In comparison to O’Rourke, following a mile-long march, he drew at least 7,000 people at his rally.

Trump claimed El Paso had one of the highest rates of violent crime in America before a wall was put in place, after which it became one of the nation’s safest cities. That is inaccurate.

At last Tuesday’s State of the Union address, the President claimed that El Paso had one of the highest rates of violent crime in America. Trump claimed that a barrier constructed at the border helped make El Paso one of the nation’s safest cities, El Paso’s mayor, Dee Margo corrected him. “El Paso was NEVER one of the MOST dangerous cities in the US,” he tweeted. O’Rourke chimed in on Trump’s claims about El Paso and the effectiveness of a border wall.

“El Paso is one of the safest cities in the United States of America,” he said. “Safe not because of walls, but in spite of walls. Secure because we treat one another with dignity and respect. That is the way that we make our communities and our country safe.”

According to Vox, El Paso has constantly had the second-lowest violent crime rate of similarly sized cities, a ranking it had both before and after a partial barrier was installed near the border in 2008.

“We have so much to give, so much to show the rest of the country,” O’Rourke said in a rebuttal the president. “Here, a city that has been one of the safest in the United States of America for 20 years and counting. … Walls do not save lives. Walls end lives.”

While O’Rourke spoke about the things that unite Americans, President Trump used his rally to take aim at O’Rourke and fellow Democrats.

At his rally, President Trump took jabs at O’Rourke saying he is a “young man who’s got very little going for himself except he’s got a great first name.” He also used his rally to attack the media, which resulted in the attack of a cameraman, poke fun at the Green New Deal and falsely accuse Virginia Governor Ralph Northam of supporting the murder of newborn babies.

O’Rourke went the other direction as he spoke about how the great hopes he has for the country. He spoke about the reality of what many Americans are currently facing including rising health costs, economic disparity, and job opportunities. Whether O’Rourke will run for president or not, the truth is he has gotten the attention of President Trump. That is a fact.


READ: Texas Officials Attempt To Purge Voters From Rolls But Get Sued Over Claims Of Voter Suppression

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In 2012, The Mississippi Legislative Black Caucus Fought And Defeated A Harsh Anti-Immigration Bill

politics

In 2012, The Mississippi Legislative Black Caucus Fought And Defeated A Harsh Anti-Immigration Bill

Mississippi Legislative Black Caucus / Facebook

It’s Black History Month and we want to celebrate by honoring African-Americans who have taken action to help Latino immigrants. Particularly, the Mississippi Legislative Black Caucus (MLBC), which helped Latinos in an area of the country that isn’t particularly known for having a strong support system for immigrants—the South.

This group of individuals showed that different ethnicities and races can work together to meet a common goal.

The MLBC partnered with the Mississippi Immigrants Rights Alliance (MIRA) to defeat bill HB 488 in Mississippi back in 2012.

Credit: Mississippi Legislative Black Caucus / Facebook

Author David Bacon wrote in The Nation that at the time, Tea Party Republicans thought they would get a victory in Mississippi for their anti-immigration bill and had even brought in some additional ammunition to push the Mississippi bill through.

That secret weapon was Kris Kobach, the Kansas Secretary of State who had helped co-author the dreaded Arizona SB 1070 bill. Kobach was also instrumental is disenfranchising Latino voters in Texas during the 2018 midterm elections.

The MLBC came out to win and they put up a fight in the Mississippi House of Representatives.

Credit: Mississippi Immigrants Rights Alliance / Facebook

At the start of 2012 legislative session, the Legislative Black Caucus started raising their voices to debate the bill.

HB 488 essentially would have made racial profiling the new normal.

Credit: Mississippi Immigrants Rights Alliance / Facebook

It could have stopped undocumented immigrants from receiving the most minimal of benefits such as a license for bicycles or a library card.

“We forced a great debate in the House, until 1:30 in the morning,” state Representative Jim Evans, the caucus leader in Mississippi, told the Nation. “When you have a prolonged debate like that, it shows the widespread concern and disagreement. People began to see the ugliness in this measure.”

The director of the the Mississippi Immigrants Rights Alliance (MIRA) told Bacon black legislators spoke out against the bill throughout the night when the bill was introduced on the floor, debating the use of the term ‘illegal alien’ in the language of the bill while others said it could break families apart and promote ethnic cleansing.

Grassroots protests helped usher in a wave of support against the HB 488 bill.

From employers who had undocumented immigrants as employees to Catholics, Methodists, Jews, Muslims, black caucus members and the activists who worked for MIRA, the mission was simple—strike down bill HB 488 through constant protesting in the Mississippi state legislature.

Finally, the Tea Party supporters were thrown off their anti-immigration bill high horse.

The director of MIRA at the time, Bill Chandler, told the Nation that all of these alliances helped defeat the anti-immigrant bill.

Posted by Mississippi Legislative Black Caucus on Wednesday, May 17, 2017

“Because of our history we had a relationship with our allies,” Chandler said. “We need political alliances that mean something in the long term — permanent alliances, and a strategy for winning political power.”

Looking back, history can always teach important lessons—including how seemingly unlikely allies can stand together to fight for a common cause.

To find out more about the defeat of HB 488, click here.

Are you an activist helping defend Latino immigrant rights? Tell us in the comments below!

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