President Trump is holding a rally Monday night to make his case for building a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, traveling to El Paso, Texas, as congressional negotiatorsover border security funding to avert another shutdown by a Friday deadline.
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. O’Rourke is scheduled to begin his remarks at 9 p.m. ET, the same time Mr. Trump is due to take the stage just half a mile away.
The president has repeatedly cited El Paso as an example of a city where the construction of a wall bolstered security and curtailed crime rates.
“The border city of El Paso, Texas, used to have extremely high rates of violent crime, one of the highest in the entire country, and was considered one of our nation’s most dangerous cities,” Mr. Trump said during his State of the Union address last week. “Now, immediately upon its building, with a powerful barrier in place, El Paso is one of the safest cities in our country,” he said.
But his claim are false and have been widely rebuffed, including by El Paso’s Republican mayor Dee Margo. A report by Politifact noted that the city’s violent crime rate “was significantly lower than the average for all localities of a similar size” for every year between 1985 and 2014. El Paso’s had an estimated population of 683,577 people in 2017, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
Additionally, in 2007, the year before El Paso began building the 42 miles of fence Mr. Trump appeared to be referencing, El Paso’s crime rate was higher than 2010, when it was completed.