Texas showdown: O'Rourke, Trump hold dueling rallies over wall

Charlene Craig
February 12, 2019

Ahead of President Donald Trump's rally in El Paso Monday evening, El Paso County passed a resolution stating it is "disillusioned" by the president's "lies regarding the border and our community" and that he is unwelcome in that regard.

The simultaneous rallies at 7 p.m. MST (9 p.m. EST) coincide with talks to reach a border security deal and avert another government shutdown.

President Donald Trump is assailing Democrats over faltering border security negotiations. "It seeks emotionally to connect with us, with voters - to stoke anxiety and paranoia, to win power over "the other" on the basis of lies that vilify people".

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"We've been a safe city for many many years and the wall didn't make us safer".

Some kind of barrier has always divided El Paso from Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, which is located directly to its south.

Former Rep. Beto O'Rourke, a Texas Democrat who's mulling a 2020 presidential run, is set to speak at the conclusion of a "March for Truth" organized by liberal groups.

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"With the president being in El Paso, it provides an opportunity to test a message that's very different than President Trump's message", communications consultant Hector Nieto said.

Trump is traveling to El Paso to argue for a wall he says can protect Americans from violent criminals, drugs and a "tremendous onslaught" of migrant caravans.

The CNN host also noted that violent crime "actually increased 5.5 percent from the year before construction of the fence started to the year it was completed". While few Democratic candidates have focused on immigration in their launches, O'Rourke has described Trump's calls for the wall as the "cynical rhetoric of war, of invasions, of fear". "Now, immediately upon its building, with a powerful barrier in place, El Paso is one of the safest cities in our country". El Paso's had an estimated population of 683,577 people in 2017, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

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