El Paso stop to garner wall sup­port.

O’Rourke joins com­pet­ing rally to re­buff the pres­i­dent’s ‘lies’ in a ‘peace­ful’ man­ner

Houston Chronicle - - FRONT PAGE - By Jeremy Wal­lace

EL PASO — Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump on Mon­day takes his case for a bor­der wall back to Texas as the pos­si­bil­ity of an­other gov­ern­ment shut­down just days from now looms.

Trump re­turns to the state to hold a rally at 8 p.m. in El Paso, a city he said just a week ago dur­ing the State of the Union Ad­dress has seen a drop in crime be­cause of fenc­ing that sep­a­rates El Paso from Juarez, Mex­ico.

“Now, with a pow­er­ful bar­rier in place, El Paso is one of our safest cities,” Trump said.

On Sat­ur­day, Beto O’Rourke coun­tered that Trump “lies about El Paso.”The po­ten­tial 2020 pres­i­den­tial con­tender said he will join with com­mu­nity lead­ers and elected of­fi­cials for a protest march and coun­ter­demon­stra­tion just a few miles from where Trump will de­liver his speech at the El Paso County Coli­seum. That march be­gins at 6 p.m. CST and 5 p.m. in El Paso, which is in the moun­tain time zone. O’Rourke is ex­pected to take the stage at 8 p.m., the same time Trump’s rally be­gins. O’Rourke said the coun­ter­rally, called “March for Truth,” is a “pos­i­tive, peace­ful op­por­tu­nity to tell our story.” On so­cial me­dia over the week­end, he called on his sup­port­ers to flood El Paso with marchers.

Con­struc­tion of the bor­der fenc­ing in El Paso be­gan in 2008 when Pres­i­dent Ge­orge W. Bush was still in of­fice. Orig­i­nally, 57 miles of fenc­ing was pro­posed in El Paso along the bor­der. At least 42 miles have been built, ac­cord­ing to the Depart­ment of Home-

land Se­cu­rity. The bar­ri­ers are a com­bi­na­tion of steel and metal mesh and are over 20 feet high in some parts.

On Sun­day, Trump painted a grim pic­ture of ne­go­ti­a­tions be­tween con­gres­sional Repub­li­cans and Democrats on a pro­posed bor­der wall. Trump ended the shut­down but on con­di­tion that Democrats and Repub­li­cans work on a bor­der wall deal be­fore an­other po­ten­tial shut­down, which could be­gin this week.

On Sun­day, talks were re­ported to be stalled over whether to limit the num­ber of mi­grants that au­thor­i­ties can de­tain.

“I don’t think the Dems on the Bor­der Com­mit­tee are be­ing al­lowed by their lead­ers to make a deal,” Trump wrote on Twit­ter on Sun­day. “They are of­fer­ing very lit­tle money for the des­per­ately needed Bor­der Wall & now, out of the blue, want a cap on con­victed vi­o­lent felons to be held in de­ten­tion!”

When he lands in El Paso, it will mark Trump’s eighth visit to Texas since he was sworn in as pres­i­dent. Most re­cently, he was in McAllen where he also fo­cused on the need for a bor­der wall.

Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump and Beto O’Rourke each will take the stage in El Paso.

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