AP NEWS

Kirsten Gillibrand: ‘I could support’ tearing down existing border barriers

February 15, 2019

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand said she “could support” Beto O’Rourke’s idea of tearing down existing barriers at the U.S. southern border.

“I could look at it and see which part he means and why and if it makes sense, I could support it,” the New York Democrat and 2020 presidential hopeful told reporters during a campaign stop in Concord, New Hampshire, on Friday.

Mr. O’Rouke, a former congressman from El Paso, Texas, and a potential 2020 candidate, made headlines Thursday after he declared he would support ripping out the existing wall in El Paso and other areas.

Mrs. Gillibrand said she would also get behind such drastic measures if “folks in that part of the country” supported it.

“But, you know, Democrats are not afraid of national security or border security,” she said. “Democrats have funded border security for decades. So it’s not a question of not wanting to keep the country safe.”

Mrs. Gillibrand said the president wants a “medieval-style” wall made out of concrete that will “destroy not just the community, but the environment.”

“It is a hateful message,” she said. ”[Mr. Trump] is trying to create a picture of division and hate and derision and that’s what I’m so offended by. The fact that he spews this kind of racism in his words and actions is troubling.”

Mr. Trump announced Friday that he is declaring a national emergency at the U.S.-Mexico border to unlock billions of dollars in federal funds to build a wall.