EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — Prior to Bernie Sanders’ rally inside El Paso’s Abraham Chavez Theatre, supporters said they were hoping he would speak about topics important to El Pasoans. After the rally, they said they were not disappointed.
Sanders told the crowd before the rally, he visited the memorial honoring victims of the deadly Aug. 3 mass shoot at a Walmart on the city’s East Side, and he spoke about the need for gun control and immigration reform.
He said he would end U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, raids and would not keep children in “cages.”
“No federal agent will ever snatch a baby from the arms of her mother. We are not going to be locking children up in cages. And we’re going to end the ICE raids that are terrorizing our communities,” said Sanders.
As he addressed the Walmart mass shooting, which left 22 dead and two-dozen injured, Sanders went into his gun control platform and explained to the crowd he would enact universal background checks, saying it’s what the American people want. Sanders says he’d also ban the sale and distribution of assault weapons.
“What a horror it is that there was a mass shooting, that there was a mass shooting to kill Latino people,” said Sanders.
“I appreciated what he said and I believe in what he says and most importantly he’s trying to help us heal as a community and I think that’s important,” said Michelle Cervantes an El Paso Bernie Sanders supporter.
Protestors gathered outside of the Sanders rally as crowds waited to enter the Abraham Chavez Theatre and stayed until the rally was over. Many were seen wearing red “Make America Great Again” hats. They held signs that read, “No Bernie! No socialism, socialism leads to communism”.
Sanders is headed to San Antonio Saturday night and is expected to lead what could be his largest Texas rally on Sunday at Auditorium Shores in Austin. He said during his El Paso rally that he needs Texas.
“Texas will play an enormous role. If we win here in Texas, Donald Trump is finished,” said Sanders.
Election Day in Texas is March 3.