Tapper brought up fellow Democratic candidate Julián Castro‘s calls “for the repeal of a law that makes it a crime to enter the United States illegally” and asked O’Rourke if he agreed. However, O’Rourke avoided directly answering the question, saying, “I don’t know” before vaguely suggesting it shouldn’t be repealed.
Tapper didn’t let O’Rourke avoid directly answering it, as he continued to press the candidate about his plan.
“Okay, but just to get a straight answer on it, it sounds to me like you think the law that makes it a crime to be in this country illegally, it sounds like you think that that should stay the law,” said Tapper.
O’Rourke again tried to avoid the question, saying in “the vast majority of cases” it should not be a crime.
“But you disagree with, you disagree with Julián Castro, you don’t think that it should be repealed?” Tapper asked.
“Yeah, I’ve answered the question, I do not think that it should be repealed,” O’Rourke said, although his original answer was much less direct, before continuing to attempt to explain himself.
“I’m trying to get to the heart of the issue, which is if we treat people humanely, that we improve our security not through walls and through cages, but by making sure that those who are at their most vulnerable, who are trying to follow our asylum laws, are able to do that, and that we then rewrite this country’s immigration laws in our own image.”
As IJR Red reported, O’Rourke is part of a crowded field of 2020 Democratic candidates, with many trying to set themselves apart by supporting extremely progressive policies.