President Trump visits El Paso


Photo by Texas Public Radio.

Nicole Revilla, Co Editor-in-Chief

On Monday, Feb. 11 President Donald Trump held a rally in El Paso at the Coliseum in order to draw support for his border wall and his re-election next year.

President Trump’s visit came after he received backlash over his statement about El Paso during his State of the Union address.

“The border city of El Paso, Texas, used to have extremely high rates of violent crime — one of the highest in the entire country, and considered one of our nation’s most dangerous cities,” Trump said during his State of the Union address.

President Trump during his State of the Union address on Feb. 5, 2019. Photo by CNN.

“Now, immediately upon its building, with a powerful barrier in place, El Paso is one of the safest cities in our country.

Simply put, walls work and walls save lives. So let’s work together, compromise, and reach a deal that will truly make America safe.”

Immediately after the President gave his remarks, the facts were quickly debunked by notable news sources and even the El Paso mayor Dee Margo.

In a tweet, Mayor Dee Margo, a Republican, refuted the president: “El Paso was NEVER one of the MOST dangerous cities in the US. We’ve had a fence for 10 years and it has impacted illegal immigration and curbed criminal activity. It is NOT the sole deterrent. Law enforcement in our community continues to keep us safe.”

Statistics by the El Paso Police Department show that El Paso has been ranked one of the safest cities in America with a population over 500,000.

President Trump’s visit drew a crowd of 6,500 in the Coliseum, with an overflow crowd sent to watch his speech from outside.

Days before the event, supporters and opponents gathered to wait for the rally.

Outside the Coliseum, there were countless stands selling Pro-Trump paraphernalia including the signature “Make America Great Again” hats.

President Donald Trump boards Air Force One as he leaves Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland, Monday, Feb. 11, 2019, for a trip to El Paso, Texas. Photo and caption by the El Paso Times.

The rally consisted of part 2020 messaging, part negotiations over government funding, and part talk of his proposed border wall.

Trump spoke on the border security deal that Congress is trying to reach, Trump gave no indication if he would be willing to sign a deal, however.

“The wall is being built,” Trump insisted to a crowd of thousands who attended his rally. “It’s growing at a rapid pace.”

Surprisingly, Trump made no remarks regarding his state of emergency declaration.

Trump also attacked the Democrats and their party platform for 2020, delving into details concerning abortion and tax plans.

In addition he also mocked Beto O’Rourke and his supporters for having a counter rally next to his.

Trump said, “the young man [Beto O’Rourke] who’s got very little going for himself except he’s got a great first name.”

Trump also falsely claimed that while 35,000 people came to his event (however the El Paso Coliseum only holds 6,500), O’Rourke had only drawn a few hundred people.

In reality, O’Rourke’s crowd may have drawn a crowd over twice the size of Trump’s, with reports from the El Paso police confirming that between 10,000 and 15,000 people showed up to hear O’Rourke speak, compared to the 6,500 who were inside the arena to hear the president.

Senior Britton Brindle who attended the O’Rourke’s March for Truth said, “It [O’Rourke’s rally] was a beautiful way for the community to come together and exhibit what the people of El Paso are all about.”

Trump then began to talk about his plan for his border wall, he instructed people to disregard the media’s statistic-based reports about border security.

President Trump said, “And I’ve been watching where they’ve been trying to say, ‘Oh, the wall didn’t make that much’ – … I heard the same thing from the fake news, they said, ‘Oh, crime actually stayed the same.’ It didn’t stay the same, it went way down. And look at what they did to their past crimes and look at how they recorded those past crimes, it went way, way down.

These people, you know, you’d think they’d want to get to the bottom of a problem and solve a problem, not try and pull the wool over everybody’s eyes.”

Trump also said his campaign slogan is no longer “Build The Wall,” but “Finish The Wall,” the preview of hs 2020 reelection bid, implying that construction for a Trump wall had begun.

“Today we started a big beautiful wall right on the Rio Grande,” Trump said to thousands of people chanting “USA, USA” and “Build the wall” all wearing his trademark caps.

Trump has taken to twitter to post videos of “wall construction” happening in the southern border, however ongoing construction of a bollard fence is funded by money carried over from the Bush and Obama administrations.

However, no money has been approved by Congress to fund Trump’s wall and negotiations have remained stagnant.

According to the Dallas Morning News, Bob Peña, executive director of the EL Paso County Republican Party, said he hopes Trump’s takeaway is that “El Paso is a safe city, a city of immigrants and they need to feel good, proud and happy about their country. That message is important for the president to stress.”