El Paso mayor: Trump 'wrong' to connect crime drop, barrier

Supporters of U.S. border security make a human wall to demonstrate their support for a border wall between the U.S. and Mexico at Sunland Park N.M. Feb. 9 2019

President Trump Preps for El Paso Rally

Beto O'Rourke, the former Democratic Texas congressman who is considering a 2020 White House bid, will join a march Monday night to protest Republican President Donald Trump's rally at the same time in the border town of El Paso.

Monday, Trump heads to El Paso, where he won 25.7% of the 2016 vote and enraged everyone in a SOTU speech falsely declaring it a hell-hole of crime - a reality officials say only exists in "Sicario", given they boast one of the lowest crime rates of any big city.

"We will meet lies and hate with the truth and a vision for the future from the U.S. -Mexico border", O'Rourke said in a Facebook video on Saturday. The events, which will feature music and other speakers, are meant to highlight El Paso's strength as a binational community - and push back against Trump's long-sought border wall.

Violent crime did not drop in El Paso "immediately" after a "powerful barrier" was put up.

Trump's comments about El Paso have already prompted multiple fact checks on his claims.

As of 2014, Federal Bureau of Investigation data show El Paso still had the third lowest violent crime rate among 35 USA cities with a population over 500,000 - just as it did before the fence was built. The consensus? He's incorrect.

"He's making an effort to use this community as a prop to make his case for a border wall", O'Rourke said.

CNN noted at the time that the connection was inaccurate, and Margo, a Republican, told CNN's Poppy Harlow and Jim Sciutto on "Newsroom" Monday that the drop in crime came prior to the barrier construction, and that Trump was "wrong" when he claimed otherwise.

On the ground in El Paso, however, Mayor Dee Margo denied the city's law and order situation was turned around by building the wall.

"We've had a fence for 10 years and it has impacted illegal immigration and curbed criminal activity".

"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". It is NOT the sole deterrent.

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".

Latest News