DALLAS - Democratic presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke returned to Dallas on Thursday for an immigration roundtable.
The former Texas congressman held the discussion at an Uptown restaurant. O'Rourke released his proposal on immigration reform on Wednesday.
The O'Rourke plan includes a pathway to U.S. citizenship for 11 million people in the country illegally, deploy thousands of immigration lawyers to the southern border to help with asylum cases and earmark $5 billion to bolster the rule of law in Central America. It also addresses DACA, or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.
"So we reverse the president's actions on DACA. We ensure that there's deferred action going forward until Congress acts and then we work with Congress to act to ensure that not only do Dreamers have the opportunity to stay here, but they stay here as full U.S. citizens to contribute to their full potential to our shared success," O'Rourke said.
In his plan, O'Rourke pledges to use executive orders to mandate that only people with criminal records be detained for crossing the border illegally. He also would end the separation of immigrant families at the border, remove federal immigration courts from their current jurisdiction under the Justice Department and stop all funding for what he calls "private, for-profit prison operators."
O'Rourke's plan also seeks to better track and prevent immigrant deaths by creating an independent border oversight office and expanded training and contact with surrounding communities for federal personnel. A nine-page fact sheet O'Rourke released with his proposal accuses the Trump administration of "pursuing cruel and cynical policies that aim to sow needless chaos and confusion at our borders."