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

Supporters of U.S. border security make a human wall to demonstrate their support for a border wall between the U.S. and Mexico at Sunland Park N.M. Feb. 9 2019

Supporters of U.S. border security make a human wall to demonstrate their support for a border wall between the U.S. and Mexico at Sunland Park N.M. Feb. 9 2019

Lyda Ness-Garcia, one of the organizers of the march, said the group met with O'Rourke and he agreed to speak at the rally, march with protesters - and possibly play with some of the bands.

During his State of the Union address last week, the President made an inaccurate connection between El Paso's previously high crime rates and the construction of a border wall. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, in November.

El Paso had a murder rate of less than half the national average in 2005, a year before the most recent expansion of its border fence.

Their demonstration comes ahead of Trump's first campaign rally of the year.

"Hopefully we'll get a chance to visit and talk about and see firsthand what the border really looks like and how we are so closely intertwined, for nearly 400 years, between El Paso and Juarez", Margo said.

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"Now, with a powerful barrier in place, El Paso is one of our safest cities", Trump said.

But several El Paso residents and experts have pushed back on the president's characterization of their city, saying it misconstrues what happened before and after parts of the border wall were erected under former President George W. Bush.

Trump's rally, hard by the "successful border fence", will be met by the Baby Trump blimp and a galvanized March For Truth and Celebration of El Paso featuring Beto O'Rourke, who often cites the contributions of immigrants to his city. Lower in El Paso in fact than Houston or Dallas or Ft.

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. In their resolution Monday, El Paso County officials noted the city's violent crime rate dropped 62 percent between its peak in the 1990s to 2007, a year before construction on the fence began.

Rep. Veronica Escobar, D-Texas, also tweeted that Trump was "lying" and used his State of the Union address "to spread falsehoods about our beloved city of El Paso".

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