AUSTIN, Texas - Former Congressman and current presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke spoke at Jo’s Coffee on West 2nd Street in downtown Austin Saturday. The event was a Q & A style discussion hosted by Supermajority.
“The supermajority is a home for women's activism and we’re bringing women together across race, across geography, across age, to be powerful together," said labor activist Ai-Jen Poo.
All questions were asked by women with one of the biggest issues being immigration.
“No walls, no cages, no internal deportations but rewriting our countries immigration laws in our own image," O'Rourke said. "Legalize dreamers, but legalize their parents and brothers and sisters and ensure that there is a safe, fast, legal orderly route to come to this country to work a job, to reunite with your family, or to go to school."
O’Rourke said the country should lift its refugee quota. He slammed President Donald Trump for his policy and rhetoric.
“This is about people at the end of the day, human beings that we are treating like animals, in so many situations, you have a president who has tried to dehumanize our fellow Americans," O'Rourke said.
O'Rourke doubled down on the implication that the president is at fault for the recent mass shooting in El Paso.
“It was a person armed not just with an AK-47, but a hatred and an intolerance this president has welcomed," O'Rourke said.
He also doubled down on his call for a mandatory weapons buy back.
“Buying back every single AK-47 and AR-15 out there so that they can never be used against any of us, our kids, or our fellow Americans, that’s the way that we move forward," O'Rourke said.
When asked how he would move forward with restorative justice, O’Rourke had this suggestion:
“When it comes to our drug laws, making sure that licenses to sell cannabis legally in this country are first afforded to those who have served time, for those who are selling cannabis illegally in this country, that may be one small step that we can take.”
Cecile Richards is a co-founder of Supermajority. Many audience members represented Planned Parenthood. When asked about women's healthcare, O’Rourke said he would follow in the organization's footsteps.
He was also asked about education -- he said if elected, his administration would set up a half trillion dollar education fund.