Thursday, 18 April, 2019

Trump supporters stage a 'human wall' at U.S.-Mexico border

GettyImages-1096713762 President Trump Preps for El Paso Rally
Patty Aguilar | 12 February, 2019, 00:14

The remarks angered local politicians, including O'Rourke and the city's Republican mayor, because El Paso's crime rate was far below the national US average before its border fence was expanded in 2005.

O'Rourke, who became a Democratic star in 2018 during his unexpectedly close but unsuccessful bid for a U.S. Texas Senate seat, will make a speech lambasting Trump's plans for a border wall as Trump promotes his long-promised barrier at an event nearby.

Trump's rally comes just four days before the possibility of another government shutdown.

In January, O'Rourke said that walls on the border "ensure death".

O'Rourke, who has been seen as a possible contender for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, avoided calling the president by name as he announced he was joining the march, which a constellation of nonprofit organisations, including Border Network for Human Rights and Women's March El Paso, are supporting.

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El Pasoans on both sides of the political aisle have pushed back against Trump's false assertions.

In a tweet, El Paso Mayor Dee Margo, a Republican, panned the president: "El Paso was NEVER one of the MOST unsafe cities in the U.S. We've had a fence for 10 years and it has impacted illegal immigration and curbed criminal activity". Thanks to his better-than-expected performance against Cruz, his spirited message on the campaign trail, and his mastery of social media, there were immediate calls by some Democrats for O'Rourke to run for president.

El Paso, Texas, Mayor Dee Margo said hours before President Donald Trump is due to visit his city that Trump was wrong to claim a border barrier was responsible for El Paso's drop in crime.

Paul Steinhauser is a politics reporter based in New Hampshire.

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