EL PASO — If American politics has was a three-ring circus, this metropolis in west Texas will hoist the Huge Prime on Monday, with President Donald Trump coming to rally for a border wall, Democratic wunderkind Beto O’Rourke main a protest march and even the Trump Child blimp placing in an look.
The Trump rally on the El Paso County Coliseum will come solely 4 days earlier than the opportunity of both one other authorities shutdown or a declaration of nationwide emergency over what the president deems a nationwide safety disaster on the U.S.-Mexico border.
It additionally follows Trump’s State of the Union feedback during which he tried to make use of El Paso for example of why america must assemble a wall alongside the border.
Perched on the U.S.-Mexico border, town has turn out to be the focus for the contentious concern of immigration and the president’s relentless push for a barrier.
O’Rourke, contemporary off an interview with Oprah Winfrey, stated he sees Trump’s marketing campaign rally as a possibility for town to take management of the narrative.
“I feel the president’s resolution to concentrate on El Paso and his horrible demonization and vilification of immigrants, particularly Mexican immigrants, and his need to make us afraid of the border can work to our benefit,” he tells the El Paso Occasions. “In different phrases, as he comes down right here and as he referred to El Paso in his State of the Union speech, the eyes of the nation are actually on us and shall be much more so on Monday.”
O’Rourke, whose skillful use of social media has made him a nationwide determine and prolific fundraiser, plans to hitch a one-mile march previous Trump’s rally on Monday and communicate throughout the road from the president at about the identical time Monday night.
“He’s providing us an opportunity to inform our story and we’re going to take that likelihood, all of us,” O’Rourke advised the El Paso Occasions.
O’Rourke’s camp described Monday’s protest march as an effort to “present the nation the truth of the border — a vibrant, secure, bi-national group that proudly celebrates its tradition, historical past, range and standing as a metropolis of immigrants.”
The president triggered native anger by alleging in his State of the Union handle that El Paso “used to have extraordinarily excessive” crime fee earlier than a border fence was constructed and that the speed of crime dropped considerably after it was accomplished.
The assertion rapidly prompted blowback from native politicians and regulation enforcement figures. Even Mayor Dee Margo, a Republican, insisted that El Paso was “by no means” among the many nation’s most harmful cities.
Right now’s fencing was largely constructed after the Safe Fence Act was adopted in 2006 underneath President George W. Bush.
Utilizing Uniform Crime Stories from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the speed of violent crime in El Paso may be calculated by combining knowledge reported by the El Paso County Sheriff’s Workplace and the El Paso Police Division.
The speed of violent crime reached its peak in 1993, when greater than 6,500 violent crimes had been recorded.
Between 1996 and 2006, the variety of violent crimes reported by regulation enforcement fell by greater than 34 %.
From 2006 to 2011 — two years earlier than the fence was constructed to 2 years after — the variety of violent crimes recorded in El Paso elevated by 17 %.
The difficulty additionally sparked a flood of memes on social media ridiculing the portrayal of El Paso as a as soon as crime-infested border city.
One photograph, posted on Twitter by local TV anchor Shelton Dodson, encompasses a Mexican meals dish from a well-liked native restaurant chain, Chico’s Tacos, with the caption. “The Solely violence in El Paso was when Chico’s modified its cheese.” Dodson posted the photograph with its personal headline: “Effectively, that was a really scary time in our metropolis’s historical past.”
O’Rourke, an area political rock star who represented El Paso in Congress earlier than narrowly shedding a bid to interchange Republican Ted Cruz within the Senate, hammered Trump throughout his marketing campaign over the wall particularly, and immigration.
Now, that he’s on the verge of presumably getting into a race for the White Home, O’Rourke enters the fray with the identical message.
The march, organized by Ladies’s March El Paso, is being billed as a “March for Reality: Cease the Wall, Cease the Lies.”
O’Rourke additionally deliberate to hitch Democratic Rep. Veronica Escobar, who succeeded him in Congress, and different activists on a convention name to denounce Trump’s insistence on a border wall.
In an interview in New York this week with Oprah Winfrey, O’Rourke known as Trump’s push for a border wall a “racist response to an issue we do not have. It seeks emotionally to attach with us, with voters — to stoke nervousness and paranoia, to win energy over ‘the opposite’ on the premise of lies that vilify individuals.”
The Child Trump blimp, in the meantime, will be part of the festivities by flying above town depicting the president as an toddler carrying a diaper.
Funding for the blimp, which was first set aloft in London throughout a Trump go to and has made a number of appearances since in america, was rapidly raised this week.
The GofundMe purpose of $3,500 was met inside 14 hours, with some 190 people chipping in.
This text initially appeared on USA TODAY: Trump, Beto to face off Monday in El Paso in dueling rallies close to the border