Beto O’ Rourke talks Trump administration's immigration policies

The Democratic presidential candidate reacts to the administration's decision to collect migrants' DNA.
9:01 | 10/22/19

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Transcript for Beto O’ Rourke talks Trump administration's immigration policies
Immigration policy front and center of course on the campaign trail as those Democrats target president trump and today. Former Texas congressman that'll work was here in the briefing room to talk about immigration policy and a number of other issues out on the campaign. Carson purchasing thinking to an end to the administration today announced let's move forward with fists proposal to collect DNA samples from migrants coming across the border. It is worth it if it prevents for stops even one crime they say this is a crime prevention tool. This is park the fear that the president is trying to stoke about immigrants and asylum seekers and refugees. We know that they commit crimes in this country at a far lower rate than those were born in this country. We know that they arrive at our border as vulnerable as defenseless as desperate as a human being can be. And not only is he proposing taking DNA from these asylum seekers he's already place him in cages separated them from their families. Lost the lives of seven children over the course of the last year and that's happening in the wealthiest. The most powerful country on the face the plan and one that is comprised of immigrants and asylum seekers and their sons and daughters so this is absolutely the wrong policy and to answer question no. It does not improve the security or safety of our communities or country. Eat and they did there does seem to be some evidence that these these policies as extreme as they may be. Seemed to be having some deterrent affect him in the number something coming down. At the border do you attribute some of that decline in the migrant crisis to what they have been doing. You're asking is is it owing to to the cruelty. And the torture committed by this president against defenseless children. Or this orwellian names of migrant protection protocol where you have tens of thousands of asylum seekers waiting in suit applauded as. Or Tijuana Vermont the morals not able to process their asylum claims here. That may have some effects but is that the price that were willing to pay is that something that we want to have on on our conscience a stain on our memory. I think we need to follow our own asylum laws. And recognize that the part of the greatness. Of this country is owed to those who chose us and and came here. When they had no other place to go to S president I will never separate if family or incarcerate. A child or treat them with the inhumanity. That they have been that they've received from from this president under this administration. I want to rewrite or immigration laws so that they fully reflect the reality on the ground the fact that these are silencing you cannot summarize the border crossings. I would never criminally prosecute anyone. Seeking Asylum or refuge but never incarcerate another film infected in for profits migrant detention centers. Anywhere in this country. Going forward. That this is. Perhaps that the greatest promise that we have as a country those who choose to come here and by their very presence. Take a stronger more successful and I tell you this from the perspective El Paso. One of the safest communities in United States of America by their very presence and make us safer and more secure than we would have been otherwise. I ask you about the big controversy today in Washington I know you've seen it because you've weighed in on it on Twitter a lot of Democrats have been condemning imprisoned Trump's use of the word lynching. In comparison to impeachment. You've been traveling the country been talking to a lot of people do you think. We've all become sort of desensitized. To these sort of outrageous statements by him do you find that voters are just sort of it's baked into the cake with Donald Trump Ameen. This is just yet another in a long litany of things that have people. Fired up. He certainly wants to normalize this bizarre behavior. I'm these kinds of injustices the lies that he's been telling but it's insisting earlier I was in Alabama. In Montgomery. In the legacy museum and the memorial to peace and justice. In there you see the names of the African Americans who were lynched in this country from 1877. Zoning board now fifty. Absolutely every single county in and not just in the deep south and that's the preponderance. Of the victims but throughout this country. For the president to invoke that word to describe what he's experiencing as the most powerful man on the face of the planned today. A white man who's enjoyed privilege and power unknown to so many millions more in this country is one of the most obscene things I've heard him say. In an administration that is rife with obscenities so he sees a white supremacist he has absolutely and not only has he brought forward in into the open racism. And intolerance and hatred that is long defined the American experience for too many. But he's also directed Dowd and its violence towards populations. That don't look like or love like prey like the majority we saw that brought home to us El Paso, Texas on August 3. When a gunman armed and AK 47 opened fire in a Wal-Mart. Repeating the same words the president his warning of an invasion of an infestation. A being replaced by Hispanics as a member of the white majority so this president. Poses a mortal danger tort fellow. And yet so many in your state support him. If not for those reasons in the language that he uses for a host of other reasons but do you find. Those people particularly people in the middle that kind of this dual bomb a swing voters people voted for Obama voted for Donald Trump card they also racists. DC a strain in those people. Of white supremacy how do you explain. That juxtaposition. It if you're talking about Texas the support he may have enjoyed in 2016. Has largely evaporated. In a head to head contest with Donald Trump the polling indicates that we would come out on top in this is a state. The last elected or we're selected a Democrat for president in 1976. With Jimmy Carter so. The trends that we see in Texas where last year we only lost by two point 6%. To Ted Cruz won more votes than any Democrat have before won independence for the first time in decades. And nearly half a million Republicans that's a way that we defeat Donald Trump in November 20/20. And Texas with 38 looked coral college votes can make that victory decisive so there's no open question that the president can exploit. To try to to build upon the division he's created in this cause so you think you're the most electable democratic candidate in this race I do an in Texas. Makes that case more clearly than anything else. That I can say no those 32 electoral votes not only put Donald Trump away. Forever but they also forever changed elect aural landscape in the United States of America they allow us to build majorities we need to confront climate change. To rewrite our laws when it comes to immigration or health care or including more people in the economy a very ambitious agenda before us the ability to to defeat Donald Trump. And then bring this divided country together again is important if we're going to be able to overcome. Any or all of these challenges and how do you convince more Americans. Like the Texans that believe in you. That you were electable in a red state how do you make that came in we're in crunch time now you see in red numbers of Elizabeth Warren Joseph Biden you've been hanging out. In the single digits under struggling to get into the November debate but what what way here we are. How do you kicking into gear what is the case you need to be making. Almost always in in presidential cycles at this time in the election the front runner. Loses their their perch those in single digits ultimately rise up now that's almost always been the case at least in in the democratic. Primer so take some comfort in my reading of history some comfort in the fact that almost 90% of our fellow Americans those will be voting. In democratic primaries have yet to make up their minds you have to win Iowa. We have to do very well in in Iowa and facts after this interview and headed to Iowa to be with those who will decide the first caucus. In in the nation this generation to have a chance to answer their questions and be with them in their community hard. Are days away finally when asked about FaceBook because they announced this week that Russia is already laying the ground work to battle again. In between Tony election and the company announced some steps they're taking do you think FaceBook is doing enough to prevent a repeat of 26 U. No and we're not doing enough as a country to hold them accountable. Right now legally we treat FaceBook and other social media platforms. Akin to a utility. As a we have no control over the content the passes through their pipes. When in reality they're more like a publisher of the securing the content that we see. You and I the people on FaceBook and become the products on FaceBook as they must be regulated as a publisher would be regulated. Held accountable for the contents and has published and the fact that they've allowed Donald Trump. To purchase advertising lies about Joseph Biden prospective democratic challenger shows that FaceBook right now is not obeying the rules of the road that we need to. To protect our democracy and ensure that we have free and fair elections in 2020 Mark Zuckerberg surface a lot of questions tomorrow on Capitol Hill he'll be here and you'll be in Iowa congressman thank you so much thank you.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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