Published: Sat, February 09, 2019
Worldwide | By Myra Stephens

El Paso mayor challenges Trump’s SOTU claim about pre-wall crime rate

El Paso mayor challenges Trump’s SOTU claim about pre-wall crime rate

"I ask the administration to be as non-interventionist as I am", she said in regard to negotiations.

"Approximately 2,000 aliens have arrived in northern Mexico as part of a "caravan" seeking to cross the border into Texas", Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen M. Nielsen said in a statement. The creation of a larger border wall has been a topic of conversation since Trump's presidential campaign back in 2016, with the issue of immigration taking the main stage throughout his presidency.

"I'm hopeful", said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.

If Pelosi and McConnell embrace a bipartisan agreement, it could isolate Trump and pressure him to accept it without re-escalating the fight.

The standoff caused the longest shutdown in USA history, with Trump agreeing to reopen the government to reach a deal. But several lawmakers emerged with differing conclusions.

"They don't rule out barriers, they don't rule out fencing, but that isn't the first priority", Durbin told reporters. "The tone is good between the various conferees".

"If Congress won't participate or won't go along, we'll figure out a way to do it with executive authority", Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney said on Fox News Channel's "Hannity" on Wednesday.

In her weekly press conference on Thursday, Pelosi told reporters, "Hopefully we will get some good news in a short period of time and certainly in time for the deadline of February 15".

"We can probably get there on some sort of enhanced barriers with local input", another negotiator, Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Texas, said.

In San Diego, high school teacher Stacy Salazar, whose students are primarily Hispanic and low-income, was appalled that Trump wanted to spend billions on walls when her school could not afford basic supplies.

Meanwhile, the White House said Trump will hold his first campaign rally of the year next Monday in El Paso, Texas.

Trump 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 risky cities".

"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 risky cities", said the President during his State of the Union address Tuesday.

Trump has previously said he might declare an emergency to fund border security, including a border wall between the USA and Mexico, if a special Senate-House conference fails to reach a deal by 15 February.

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.

"El Paso has been considered one of the safest cities, even when El Paso's sister city of Juárez (Mexico) has been one of the most violent in the world", said Guadalupe Correa-Cabrera, an associate professor of government at George Mason University, whose expertise includes Mexico-U.S. relations.

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