(Breitbart) – Former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-TX) falsely claimed during the third 2020 Democrat presidential primary debate that physical barriers at the U.S.-Mexico border built under the Bush and Obama administrations have killed “thousands” of border crossers and illegal aliens.

“Democrats and Republicans, alike, voted to build a wall that has produced thousands of deaths of people trying to cross to join family or to work a job,” O’Rourke claimed when pressed on what he would do about the at least 4.5 to six million visa overstays living in the U.S.

O’Rourke’s claim that existing physical barriers at the southern border, of which there is nearly 700 miles, are responsible for the deaths of border crossers and illegal aliens is false.

As Breitbart News has reported, hundreds of border crossers and illegal aliens die every year while attempting to cross the U.S.-Mexico border. President Trump has actually cut the rate at which illegal aliens are dying at the border with a number of new immigration controls to keep foreign nationals from attempting to cross in the first place.

While nearly 3,000 border crossers and illegal aliens died after crossing the southern border under the Obama administration’s eight years, existing physical barriers did not “produce” those deaths as suggested by O’Rourke.

The Migration Data Portal finds that it is a mystery what causes the majority of deaths at the southern border, while drowning tends to be the highest known cause of death among border crossers. Other causes of death include hypothermia.

Flashback: ‘Beto’ O’Rourke Campaigns In Mexico

Democrat 2020 presidential candidate Robert Francis “Beto” O’Rourke campaigned in Mexico Sunday with migrants not admitted to the U.S. at the southern border.

O’Rourke called the Trump administration’s policies “unlawful and inhumane” in a post about crossing into Mexico on Sunday to meet with migrants waiting there for U.S. court dates. He used the visit to promote his own immigration plan.

The 2020 contender faced harsh reviews for his first presidential primary debate performance last week. In the days that followed, he demonstrated outside three U.S. migrant detention facilities in three days before crossing into Mexico:

I walked across the Paso del Norte bridge and into Mexico this morning to meet with kids and families who came to our…

Posted by Beto O’Rourke on Sunday, June 30, 2019

O’Rourke and several other Democrat 2020 hopefuls visited a migrant detention facility in Homestead, Florida, after their respective debates over two nights in Miami. From Florida, O’Rourke returned to his home state of Texas, where he demonstrated outside facilities in Houston and Clint, Texas. He put out a call ahead of those visits for supporters to join him in fighting “inhumane policies.” At times, he used a bullhorn to proclaim his message to those gathered around:

‪We are all accountable for the children this government locks away in our name. We’re going to do everything we can to…

Posted by Beto O’Rourke on Saturday, June 29, 2019

Outside the Clint facility, O’Rourke blamed “all of us” producing “emissions” and “excesses,” which he blamed for a drought. He found fault, too, with the U.S. for deporting foreign nationals from U.S. prisons back to El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras. He also blamed deportation for gangs rising up in those countries to which these countries’ nationals are now fleeing.