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The trouble with presenting oneself as a unity candidate is that, eventually, you will have to deliver something that looks unifying.

But as we review Beto O'Rourke's plan for overhauling the nation's immigration system, we struggle to find anything to support his claims toward unity.

The country has had enough of endless political warfare, and we were hopeful that O'Rourke might be a candidate with the kind of courage to lead us toward compromise and comity. What we have seen of presidential candidate O'Rourke suggests that might not come to be.

We find little true compromise on the major issues in O'Rourke's immigration reform plan. The nine-page memo is passionate in its defense of immigrants, unflinching in its attack on the border wall, and hazy in its alternatives for border security. While we understand O'Rourke must work to stand out among the packed bench of the primary, he has come this far on a platform that suggested a meeting in the middle that this major policy proposal belies.

His immigration plan departs from serious proposals Congress has grappled with that would see increased security as a trade-off for paths to citizenship for unauthorized immigrants. His nod to security is to increase staffing and "modernize" our ports.

Last year, we recommended that Congress strike a compromise that would trade some 230 miles of physical barrier along a 2,000-mile border in exchange for full protection and a path to citizenship for the Dreamers who lost the protection of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA. That is the sort of fair compromise that would acknowledge the nation's right to protect its border with the necessity that we treat migrants with compassion and care fitting for a nation like ours. We applaud O'Rourke's compassionate stance towards people brought here as children, as well as his overall humanitarian approach to immigration. We wish it would more plainly acknowledge the need for security.

Through his rhetoric, President Trump has marked "the wall" as a battle line. But O'Rourke cannot dismiss the need for securing the border without alienating many of the Republicans he would claim to seek common ground with.

A true unity candidate will find a way to be honest with his own party that compromise is on the table.

Editorial on 06/05/2019

Print Headline: Others say: Beto's big miss


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  • GeneralMac
    June 5, 2019 at 12:41 p.m.

    All RBear's buddy ( Beto) can do is show us he knows how to do the old " hand jive" from the 1960's.