Trump supporters form human wall at southern New Mexico border

12 February, 2019, 12:56 | Author: Sue Mclaughlin
  • President Trump Preps for El Paso Rally

Trump said he had heard about a possible deal in Washington before he took the stage, but added: "Just so you know - we're building the wall anyway".

The talks had cratered over the weekend because of Democratic demands to limit immigrant detentions by federal authorities, but lawmakers apparently broke through that impasse Monday evening.

Trump hasn't won many new supporters there, either, particularly after last week, when during the State of the Union he falsely said, "The border city of El Paso, Texas, used to have extremely high rates of violent crime - one of the highest in the country, and considered one of our nation's most unsafe cities".

"O'Rourke rips Trump's "lies" ahead of El Paso visit", read the headline at The Hill.

"Will be heading to El Paso very soon".

President Donald Trump is expected to hold a campaign rally at 9 p.m. ET today. He told the crowd, "I don't know if you heard, but today we began the lovely wall".

Last week he chose to bring his campaign to El Paso to showcase the city's 57-mile border wall, completed in 2008, and which, he says, reduced crime in the city.

Addressing thousands of people, many wearing his red "Make America Great Again" campaign hats, Trump said: "We need the wall and it has to be built and we want to build it fast".

Down by the border, Trump was in outsized form, firing off his dubious claims on immigration while torching Democrats with fierce new attacks on climate change and abortion.

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.

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We will build a Human Wall if necessary.

The mayor of El Paso and the head of the Borderplex Alliance, an economic development group in the area, both took issue with Trump for saying El Paso was made much safer by the construction of walls there in the mid-2000s.

Trump made a border wall one of his central campaign promises in 2016, saying it is needed to curb irregular immigration, drug trafficking and other crimes. But the work focuses nearly entirely on replacing existing barriers.

Trump said fencing through the city had dramatically reduced crime by separating it from the troubled Mexican city of Ciudad Juarez, just across the border.

El Paso never had "one of the highest" rates of violent crime "in the entire country".

In a taped interview with Oprah Winfrey in NY, O'Rourke, 46, appeared to be leaning toward a 2020 campaign for the White House but said he would make his decision after consulting his wife and three children.

Although O'Rourke's full-throated denunciation of the president sounded like he planned to run against Trump, the two-time congressman declined to discuss a potential bid when asked by reporters on a conference call on Monday.

Trump deployed more than 2,000 additional troops to the border in October, ahead of the midterm elections.

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

But according to an analysis of Federal Bureau of Investigation crimes data and city law enforcement data analyzed by the El Paso Times, violent crime in El Paso peaked in 1993.

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