Published: Tue, February 12, 2019
Worldwide | By Lisa Hogan

Trump holds campaign rally in El Paso

Trump holds campaign rally in El Paso

In an interview Monday on Fox News, the commissioner of Texas' Department of Agriculture touted the effectiveness of fencing in El Paso, saying that crime dropped significantly in the city.

He concluded, "The president is lying to you to get his border wall".

In his State of the Union, President Donald Trump said a "powerful barrier" had cut crime rates and turned El Paso, Texas, from one of the nation's most unsafe cities to one of its safest. Here is the problem; whatever your position on border barriers or a border wall, the case the president lays out about El Paso is simply false. On Tuesday, O'Rourke promised a 2020 decision by the end of the month.

On Monday evening, O'Rourke will lead a march through the city and then speak at a "Celebration of El Paso" event at 7 p.m. local time - across the street from Trump's rally and at the same time it is set to begin, according to O'Rourke's team.

President Trump is gearing up for his first rally of the 2020 campaign season.

Reports say Texas Governor Greg Abbott and Senator Ted Cruz will be in attendance for the President's speech.

Activists gather at the gate near the border crossing fence at the Tornillo Port of Entry near El Paso, Texas, June 21, 2018, during a protest rally by several American mayors against the administration's family separation policy.

O'Rourke, who has claimed to oppose open borders, has faced backlash for refusing to clarify where he stood on the migrant caravan that was heading toward the U.S. O'Rourke dodged commenting on the topic despite immigration and border security overwhelmingly being the top issues for voters in Texas during his unsuccessful run to unseat Republican Texas Sen. As proof, he cited the noticeable drop in crime after the barrier was built. More than 6,500 violent crimes were recorded that year, the newspaper reported. "It actually increased 5.5 % from the year before construction of the fence started to the year it was completed". According to Federal Bureau of Investigation crime data, the city had the third lowest violent crime rate among 35 USA cities with a population over 500,000 in 2005, 2006 and 2007 - before construction of a 57-mile-long fence started in mid-2008. "Law enforcement in our community continues to keep us safe", Margo added. During his State of the Union address last week, he addressed El Paso and its proximity to the border.

The PBS NewsHour will update this story as it develops.

Like this: