By Anna Hopkins
Published May 30, 2019
Democratic presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke has introduced a sweeping new immigration plan as a centerpiece of his campaign, but his home state's attorney general said the proposals would make the situation at the border "much, much worse."
O'Rourke's plan, introduced on Wednesday, outlines three main areas in which immigration can be improved: by abolishing family separation policies, working with Congress to reform the system, and investing money in Central America to stem the number of migrants coming from those countries.
Vowing to take executive action immediately if elected president, O'Rourke touted the plan as "the most sweeping rewrite of our nation’s immigration and naturalization laws in a generation.”
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton told the "Fox & Friends" hosts on Thursday, however, that the proposals would only encourage illegal immigration.
"If you don't address border security with a wall, with more technology, with more border agents, this is just going to create an incentive for more immigration," Paxton said, adding that his state is seeing up to 10,000 immigrants approaching the border each month.
O'Rourke's proposal also seeks to lower the number of migrants being criminally prosecuted in the United States, making exceptions for those with a criminal history. The 2020 hopeful said that he would instead move toward policies like "community-based programs and family case management."
Paxton argued that the former Texas congressman's plan overlooks the dangers posed by illegal immigration and fails to address the drug trade and human trafficking.
But action by Congress to address the nation's immigration laws, however, is something that both agree needs to happen.
"We have to figure out this asylum policy," Paxton added. "People figured out the loopholes. People come and claim asylum and we have them for a long time that system is not working."
However, Paxton said, it's crucial that Congress allow funding at the border in order to improve the lives of both border security agents and migrants.