“Kept in modern day bondage, their immigration status used as leverage to keep them down.”
Beto O’Rourke suggested Saturday that immigrants working illegally in the United States are effectively slaves.
Speaking at a progressive conference about workers held in Las Vegas, the Democratic presidential candidate claimed such immigrants are “kept in modern day bondage.”
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“Millions living in the shadows, working some of the toughest jobs, lucky to make a minimum wage, some not even making that, kept in modern day bondage, their immigration status used as leverage to keep them down from fully participating in this country’s success and in our economy,” he said. “An economy that works too well for too few and not well enough for most Americans.”
Conservatives quickly pointed out the absurdity of the comparison.
Democratic presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke (D-TX) compares immigration laws to slavery, says illegal aliens live in “modern day bondage” pic.twitter.com/GuFd3cbc0i
— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) April 27, 2019
Many noted that unlike African-American slaves, immigrants generally come to the United States illegally of their own volition and are free to leave.
Democratic presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke (D-TX) compares immigration laws to slavery, says illegal aliens live in “modern day bondage”
If illegals aren’t satisfied with their life in America, they should GO HOME! https://t.co/bUCklENf8J
— John Betts (@JohnFromCranber) April 27, 2019
There was also a lot of gratuitous commentary about O’Rourke’s flailing hand gestures.
Beto compares immigration laws to slavery, says illegal immigrants live in “modern day bondage” in U.S.
If their hands were tied, neither could utter a word.
— LadyLove (@LadyLov45) April 28, 2019
Elsewhere in his address, O’Rourke – a former congressman from Texas and failed Senate contender – reiterated his promise to grant a pathway to citizenship to immigrants who are living illegally in the United States.
Since he began flirting with a presidential bid, O’Rourke has sought to make opposing President Donald Trump’s hardline immigration policies a signature issue. After initially being welcomed to the race last month with much fanfare, O’Rourke has struggled to remain in the spotlight amid an ever-growing pool of Democratic contenders.
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- Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke speaks National Forum on Wages and Working People in Las Vegas, on April 27, 2019.: Twitter