Sorry Beto, Walls Don’t “Kill.” MS-13 Does

Former congressman Robert O’Rourke is known by the nickname “Beto.” Something he isn’t known for? Having the best judgement. As a younger man, he was arrested for burglary and impaired driving after a drunken accident (a police report also says that he tried to flee the scene). What’s more, a friend told The Washington Post that he played a prank on his wife by putting feces in her food, something the O’Rourkes have neither confirmed nor denied.

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But it’s not just his actions that aren’t well thought out–his words aren’t either. That was clear earlier this year when O’Rourke not only spoke out against building a border wall but actually pledged to tear down existing barriers, declaring, “Walls do not save lives, walls end lives.”

The first claim would come as a surprise to Israelis, as a Senate report found that completion of Israel’s border wall saw a huge decline in illegal crossings and terrorist attacks. As for the second, it’s difficult to see how a wall is going to end lives. I can tell you who does, though.

MS-13 has a simple motto: “rape, control, kill.” The transnational gang is known for for disemboweling, decapitating, raping and bludgeoning its victims–both rivals and innocent civilians. Murders are sometimes recorded, with the video sent to a victim’s family. In February, MS-13 members killed a man in broad daylight on a New York City subway platform:

While the Trump administration has focused on removing gang members, that isn’t easy when deportees can walk back in. Angel Ramos did. The MS-13 member was deported in 2016; a year later, he was on trial for stabbing a woman and running her over with his car. Of course, gangsters aren’t the only ones that a wall would help keep out.

Ramon Alberto Escobar stands accused of murdering four victims and attempting to kill four others. Escobar is well known to authorities, with the Salvadoran having previously been deported--six times.

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Bonifacio Oseguera-Gonzalez was also deported six times prior to killing three people. Jorge Rios-Doblado caught two deportations before authorities say he raped and strangled a woman. Fraider Diaz-Carbajal confessed to a murder after illegally re-entering the US. Luis Bracamontes was deported twice before he murdered two police officers and wounded an African American motorist (at trial Bracamontes shouted, “Black lives don’t matter!” and “I will kill more!”).

Accused murderer Antonio Vasquez Vargas has eight deportations under his belt. And in 2016, Tomas Martinez-Maldonado was charged with sexually assaulting a 13 year-old after he had been kicked out of the country on nineteen occasions.

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Given how Beto was born into one wealthy family and married into another, it’s tough not to laugh when he complains about “privilege.” What’s even harder? Taking his thoughts on the border seriously. Because the reality is, walls don’t kill.

The people they keep out do.

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