‘Walls do not save lives. Walls end lives,’ O’Rourke told the cheering crowd.
‘We are making a stance for the truth, against lies, against hate, against ignorance, against intolerance’ he said.
O’Rourke spoke at an outdoor rally across the street from the El Paso County Coliseum where Trump spoke on a stage flanked by two huge signs reading ‘Finish the wall.’
Beto O’Rourke held an outdoor rally touting the benefits of immigration
President Trump held a competing event demanding his border wall be finished
The two men called each other out in what could be a preview of a presidential match to come.
‘The president describes Mexican immigrants as rapist and criminals. We have the chance to tell him and the county immigrants commit crimes at a lower rate than Americans who were born in this country,’ O’Rourke told his screaming crowd.
He made it clear his feelings on Trump’s border wall.
‘We stand for America and we stand against walls,’ he said.
O’Rourke did not mention presidential politics but Trump did.
Trump slammed his rival’s ‘300 strong’ gathering across the street and took a shot at the rising Democratic star.
‘A young man who’s got very little going for himself except a great first name,’ he said of O’Rourke.
He then mocked the former lawmaker’s crowd size compared to his own rally and said: ‘That may be the end of his presidential bid.’
O’Rourke kept his rally focused on the immigration issues and implored the crowd to show the world an integrated community could be safe.
‘With the eyes of the country upon us, all of us together are going to make our stand here in one of the safest cities in the United States of America. Safe not because of walls but in spite of walls,’ he said.
‘Secure because we treat each other with dignity and respect,’ he added.
‘Here in the largest bi-national community in the Western hemisphere, two and half million people, two countries, speaking two languages, with two cultures and two histories who come together, joined, not separated by the Rio Grande River, forming something far greater and more powerful,’ he said in a speech filled with soaring rhetoric.
The friendly crowd of a few thousands waved signs that read ‘Beto 2020’ as, across the street, in the distance, a blurry Trump could be seen on a giant big screen outside of his rally site.
O’Rouke spoke to the crowd in both English and Spanish and implored them to show America a town on the border can be safe.
‘We can show the rest of the country as we stand here tonight walls do not make us safe but walls require us to take someone’s property,’ he said.
‘I’m glad the country is here to see us,’ he told the crowd.
He argued there is no need for Trump to declare a national emergency to build his wall – an option the president has yet to rule out.
‘We stand for the constitution of the United States of America and against emergency national security declarations that would allow the president to subvert an equal branch of government and build a wall when we do not need it,’ he said.
O’Rourke called for immigrants to be welcomed with ‘open arms’ as the crowd cheered ‘Beto, Beto, Beto.’