The bad news just keeps rolling in for Democratic Rep. Robert Francis “Beto” O’Rourke.
The Washington Post recently gave him four Pinocchios over his claims about his 1998 DUI crash. Now, the story of a teen girl he used in his campaign has been turned against him, too.
The Dallas Morning News has reported that a powerful “Dreamers” anecdote O’Rourke has used on the campaign trail has not only been embellished upon by him, but what he was told was factually inaccurate, as well. And now the actual person whose story is being incorrectly told has been found,
She has set the record straight. And what she has to say about immigration doesn’t bode well for O’Rourke, either.
On Sept. 24, during his first debate with Republican Sen. Ted Cruz, O’Rourke relayed his version of the story he’d been told. ” … (T)he salutatorian from Booker High School had just been deported back to his country of origin, and everyone there was concerned about his welfare.”
“But they were also concerned about the fact that he’d just been sent back to a country whose language he didn’t speak, where he no longer had family connections. Where if he was successful against those long odds, he’d be successful for that place and not here for Texas.”
What Beto said about the 200,000 Dreamers contributing to Texas communities: pic.twitter.com/9bKMvLuGr1
— Beto O'Rourke (@BetoORourke) September 21, 2018
The version he’d actually been told was captured on video and may be found on O’Rourke’s Facebook page. The relaying of the story being told to O’Rourke begins at about 78 minutes into the video.
Todd Yauck, a grocery store and cafe owner in Booker, a northern Texas town about three miles from the Oklahoma border, told O’Rourke, “We’ve had people in the community, been in the community the whole time, that graduated … the salutatorian in the class that got deported.”
After confirming to O’Rourke that it happened right there in Booker, Yauck continued, “Because they just didn’t have their paper and they came across when they were 1 or 2 years old.”
He added, “You think – they’d spent 12 years in the local school system, they’d be considered citizens.”
The Dallas Morning News contacted Yauck by phone and he gave them more details about the person he was talking about in what he said to O’Rourke. It varies a bit from what O’Rourke said in the debate.
For starters, the person is female and her name is Yamile Guerrero Rosales. And she not only used to work for Yauck, but her sister currently does. And there’s more.
Yauck stated that, “She grew up here. Her parents are here.”
“When they came here she was a little girl. Maybe 3, maybe 4. She didn’t have papers.”
It was when Rosales applied for college that her status became an issue. “They sent her back to Mexico. … She was over there for six or eight or nine months and then they allowed her back in.”
Then the Dallas News was able to contact Rosales and get her account of events. One thing Yauck got wrong was that she was valedictorian, not salutatorian.
But in her correcting of the record, Rosales shared details and an understanding of the immigration process that seems to fly in the face of what O’Rourke is trying to claim.
While she states that the immigration process needs to be made easier for good people to get through, particularly when it comes to cost, she expressed no apparent bitterness over what happened to her, someone who was brought here illegally as a child.
in the first debate.
Evidently “He” was a “She”
“She” was never deported
as Beto said.
"I wasn't deported”
Yamile Guerrero Rosales#CruzCrew#Cruzhttps://t.co/ysOeV0kRu4
— Steve Toth (@Toth_4_Texas) September 28, 2018
Rosales said, “I did have to leave the country. My appointment was in Juarez, Mexico. I was not deported.”
“It wasn’t like a deportation. But I had to leave in order to get my permanent residency.”
Currently, her father has permanent U.S. resident status and her mother is attempting to get a green card from outside the country. Her first try at getting a forgiveness waiver was turned down so she is trying again.
Because of Rosales’ lack of U.S. citizenship, she couldn’t get the free college education Texas offers to valedictorians. But that did not stop her, once she was able to return to the U.S., from getting a college education and ultimately graduating from Oklahoma Panhandle State University.
She told the Dallas Morning News that “It’s just really the immigration process. That’s how it is.”
She added, “I could still go to college without being naturalized. They don’t deny you college. But you can’t get a job.”
“You can’t work … so I was trying to get residency. And when my appointment came up, it was in Mexico.”
The O’Rourke campaign’s comment about the discrepancies was blaming the source.
“We were going off of what he was told when he was visiting Booker. … That’s what he took away from it,” spokesman Chris Evans said.
But there’s a more important lesson here than inaccuracies in a campaign story. Not only did O’Rourke embellish was he was told, but the reality is that the person he ultimately told the story about doesn’t seem to have any bitterness about the immigration process.
She seems only to wish it was improved upon so good people could have an easier time getting through it.
And that is something Republicans have been pushing for, too.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.