UPDATE: Campaign officials with Democratic Candidate for Governor Lupe Valdez announced Saturday afternoon that the former Sheriff of Dallas County and Veteran will join O’Rourke and other regional leaders for the march on Sunday Morning.
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On Friday, Congressman Beto O’Rourke announced that he will lead a Father’s Day march Sunday morning to raise awareness of a newly opened tent camp in Tornillo for kids who are taken from their parents under the Trump Administration’s new policy.
The Congressman will be joined by local leaders including former El Paso County Judge Veronica Escobar, advocates, elected officials and concerned Texans as the group marches to the site where hundreds of children are already being sent without their mothers or fathers.
Via a news release, officials with O’Rourke’s office stated that Sunday’s public March to Tornillo comes less than a week after O’Rourke visited McAllen to “witness firsthand the developing humanitarian crisis along the border.”
During his visit, O’Rourke addressed the separation of children from their parents, the treatment, well-being and living conditions of unaccompanied youth, the denial of a legal asylum process for those presenting themselves at our ports of entry and recent actions taken by the Trump Administration. O’Rourke described the policy as “inhumane.”
According to the Texas Tribune, via the office of state Rep. César Blanco(D-El Paso) confirmed the opening of the facility at the federal port of entry at Tornillo, about 20 miles east of the El Paso city limits. As of Friday afternoon, 100 minors were on site there, Blanco said.
In the same article, the Tribune reported that “Homeland Security officials said that as of May 31, there were 1,995 immigrant children in custody as a result of the “zero tolerance” mandate.”
During a Friday news conference on the North Lawn, President Trump responded to critics of the policy, pointing the blame at the Democrats. Responding to a question from a reporter about how he felt about the policy, Trump responded:
“No, I hate it. I hate the children being taken away. The Democrats have to change their law. That’s their law…the Democrats gave us the laws. Now, I want the laws to be beautiful, humane, but strong. I don’t want bad people coming in. I don’t want drugs coming in. And we can solve that problem in one meeting. Tell the Democrats, your friends, to call me.”
However, only a day earlier, a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services spokesperson directly referenced the new “zero tolerance” policy which was announced in April., attributing it to U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions and the Trump Administration.