Beto O'Rourke wants to reduce violence in the Northern Triangle of Central America

The presidential candidate explains how he plans to handle the border crisis and immigrants seeking asylum.
5:02 | 05/14/19

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Transcript for Beto O'Rourke wants to reduce violence in the Northern Triangle of Central America
Now, we want to get your take on specific policy issues but since we are a live show we don't have that much time. We wanted to do this quickly so think of this sort of as a policy speed round, okay? Yep, yep. Cash reparations for the African-American community? I think the work of reparations begins with repair, that is in telling the full, true story of how this country was founded on the backs of people who were kidnapped, brought over here, built the wealth of this country but have never been able to enjoy that. So that conversation precedes any transfer of wealth or money. Okay, universal health care? Yes. Okay. Yeah. There you go. You said speed round and I want to make sure -- All right. Can we keep our own private insurance if we want to? So I support a plan introduced by two women with whom I served in congress called medicare for America. If you're uninsured, you're enrolled in medicare. If you're insufficiently insured, you can enroll in medicare, but if you have employer-sponsored insurance that you like because it works for you and your family, you're able to keep that. It is the surveillancest, quickest way to get the universal guaranteed high quality care. Immigration, what are you going to do at the border? First of all, we're not going to put kids in cages. We're not going to deport their moms back to the countries from which they fled. We're going to do everything within our power to reunite those families who have been separated, honor our asylum laws and we will rewrite our immigration laws in our own image. Free a million dreamers from fear of deportation by makg them U.S. Citizens in this home country. Lift the Visa cap so more people can reunite with family, work jobs that we cannot find employees for here in this country, and make sure that our laws match our values and the reality on the ground here in New York and back home in el Paso and every community in between. Where are you on abolishing I.C.E.? We should not abolish I.C.E. But we should abolish some of these internal enforcement practices in this administration, and though it pains some of us Democrats to talk about it, in the last in one year you saw 400,000 removals, families who have been here working some of the toughest jobs we can imagine and going back to a country they had not seen in decades. So we need to change that to focus on those who pose a violent threat or rk to us in our communities and otherwise folks who are contributing to the success and safe of this country should be able to stay here, come out of the shadows, register with the government and be able to contribute more towards success. I want to push back on this a little bit. You said recently you would absolutely take the wall down around El Paso. But we are seeing historic highs in asylum claims, so many that are overwhelming the border and can't be processed. Is your view that we should accept anyone who claims asylum and if that's your view, why do we even have a border? As you know, Amy and I are raising our kids in El Paso, connected to what is the largest binational community in the hemisphere, the defining border experience. No one cares more about border security than those of us who live there. But when we think about those who made that 2,000-mile journey, fleeing the deadliest countries on the face of the planet, doing what we would all do faced with the same decision, no wall, no militarization, no cages, no cruelty is going to address that. The way to handle this is to invest in violence reduction in the northern triangle of central America, to honor our asylum laws which this president is absolutely refusing to do, and if we really care about border security, treating everybody with the dignity and respect inherent to them that they deserve as human beings and making sure that we change our immigration laws to reflect our values. That's how El Paso has become one of the safest cities. It is not despite, it is because we are a city of immigrants and we don't tolerate but we embrace our differences in El Paso. I think that's the way that we have to go forward. Do you think we are a nation of borders though? Yes, we are a nation of laws. That border must be respected. What I know from talking and listening to border patrol agents is that those families, those kids, a 3-year-old child showed up in a corn field outside of Brownsville, Texas with a phone number and permanent marker on his shoe. They're turning themselves in, they're arresting themselves. They're not fleeing detection. They just want to come to a country and follow our own asylum laws. This president is to your knowledge -- turning them away from ports of entry, forcing them to cross illegal ports of entry. Not only do those walls not manage the situation, they contribute to theft and suffering. Thousands have died as we have built out more walls and fences, pushing them to remote stretches of the u.s.-mexico border. This is not the United States, a country of immigrants, asylum seekers and refugees. We can be better than this.

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

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