The Latest: O'Rourke says immigrants strengthen US
By WILL WEISSERT
EL PASO, Texas (AP) - The Latest on Beto O'Rourke's presidential campaign (all times local):
Democratic presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke has told 1,000-plus supporters near the Texas-Mexico border that immigrants make the country stronger.
Formally kicking off his campaign in his hometown of El Paso on Saturday, O'Rourke offered support for unapologetically liberal positions, including backing federal legalization of marijuana. He promised to strengthen unions nationwide, make it easier to register to vote and end U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The former congressman again vowed to work with Republicans, saying that a unified campaign will help him win his party's 2020 nomination and "defeat Donald Trump."
President Donald Trump has threatened to shutter the U.S.-Mexico border to combat a rise in the number of immigrants crossing.
Speaking mere blocks from the border, O'Rourke said, "We have learned not to fear our differences but to respect and embrace them."
Beto O'Rourke is formally kicking off his presidential campaign with three rallies across his home state, where he came close enough to upsetting Sen. Ted Cruz to generate the national buzz now buoying his 2020 White House bid.
The Democratic ex-congressman is holding a Saturday morning rally mere blocks from the U.S.-Mexico border in his native El Paso, then traveling to historically black Texas Southern University in Houston before an evening event in the shadow of Austin's state Capitol.
O'Rourke has visited nine states since joining the race March 14, though he'd promised to head home for an official launch.
Texas is America's largest red state, but Democrats aren't writing it off in 2020. Another presidential candidate, California Sen. Kamala Harris, drew large crowds at Texas Southern last weekend.
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