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Beto O'Rourke to join march against wall countering President Trump visit

12 February 2019
Beto O'Rourke to join march against wall countering President Trump visit

While thousands of Central American migrants wait to enter the United States, a group of American pro-Trump activists linked arms as a human border wall between El Paso, Texas and Ciudad Juarez, Mexico on Saturday in a symbolic gesture supporting President Trump's push for a permanent border wall.

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".

CNN's Jake Tapper opened today's The Lead by calling out President Donald Trump for his false claims about El Paso ahead of his trip their tonight.

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.

On the other side of the debate, Trump's campaign put out a video highlighting the need for a wall and featuring El Paso residents. "And the total fencing in the El Paso sector is about 78 miles".

"We are here to bring attention to the fact that there isn't a wall here", he said. The consensus? He's incorrect.

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

"We've tested it in Texas", he told the president. According to Federal Bureau of Investigation crime data, the city had the third lowest violent crime rate among 35 USA cities with a population over 500,000 in 2005, 2006 and 2007 - before construction of a 57-mile-long fence started in mid-2008.

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

The crime rate in El Paso also rose from 2006 to 2011.

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".

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".