Beto O’Rourke officially launched his presidential campaign Saturday in El Paso, drawing a clear contrast with Donald Trump and telling Mexican-Americans in Texas that we can do better on immigration on to “secures the border;” and he also told Pasoneans, who are mostly Mexican-Americas, why he has compassionate views about immigrants and why he sees undocumented immigrants as “our community.”
This is how Beto owned the Immigration issue in his speech, as someone who grew up in a Mexican-American community. Not only he talked about Dreamers as members of our community, he also talked about a veteran from El Paso who fought in WW II and who was an undocumented Mexican. His message is that, irrespective of Immigration status, they are members of our community, these are our people, they are America.
That is how you own the message; you don’t let others distort the facts about your people. More Mexican-Americans should learn from Beto to own the message.
There has been another Texan, who like Beto, rather than separating those without Immigration status in Mexican-American communities, used the family values approach and told everyone that the “American values don’t end at the Rio Grande.” I believe it was called the Rio Grande Family Values message.
There is a compassionate message Beto makes about families because that is the reality for thousands of Mexican families across the Southwest who live in “mix families” composed of both American citizens and undocumented workers who have lived in the country for more than fifteen years. But there is also a factual message. The Pew Hispanic estimates that there is about four million of U.S. citizens who live in these “mix”families.
In his speech, he also told his supporters that his hometown of El Paso is a “binational community.” What does he mean? This is what he means:
If you are looking for a way forward on border issues, international trade, immigration flows, and even cultural identity, you may want to start with El Paso del Norte. This community of 2.3 million people includes the nearly 700,000 residents of El Paso, Texas, the 1.5 million residents of Ciudad Juárez across the Rio Grande in Chihuahua, Mexico, and over 100,000 residents of Las Cruces, New Mexico. It is one of the world’s largest binational metropolitan areas and points to both the challenges and potential benefits of the close relationship between the two countries.
Yes, Beto maybe more Mexican than what you think.