Published: Tue, February 12, 2019
Worldwide | By Myra Stephens

Trump's Bogus El Paso Claim

Trump's Bogus El Paso Claim

Reuters The protesters gathered near an open section of the U.S. -Mexico border in Sunland Park, New Mexico.

The Trump campaign's chief operating officer, Michael Glassner, said in a statement: "As the president continues his fight to secure our border, there's no better place to demonstrate that walls work than in El Paso". A barrier was built in El Paso almost 10 years ago, and the introduction of that barrier, Trump said, allowed El Paso to undergo a profound transformation from a risky border city.

In January, Republican Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton told Trump during a border security roundtable that the border wall worked in El Paso.

But it's not just the Federal Bureau of Investigation at odds with Trump, Tapper noted. Following President Donald Trump's executive order in September to erect an 18-foot steel bollard wall to replace the existing pedestrian fencing in El Paso, he called the existing chain-link fence "bad enough". During the event, he will be speaking to counter what he calls the "lies and a false narrative about the U.S. -Mexico border" that the president will promulgate.

El Paso's Republican mayor, Dee Margo, said the city had been safe for years before the wall was built.

Trump made the claim last week in his State of the Union Address when he said El Paso "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 president has stated he is considering declaring a national emergency to construct the wall without the approval of Congress.

But on Monday O'Rourke downplayed the impact his speech would have on a potential presidential campaign.

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

El Paso County lawmakers passed a resolution ahead of Trump's visit, saying the city's residents are "disillusioned by [the president's] lies regarding the border and our community". The rally is being led by former Democratic congressman Beto O'Rourke, who represented the area until stepping down from Congress earlier this year and is reportedly weighing a 2020 White House bid. "Don't take the bait".

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