EL PASO — President Donald Trump today 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. CST 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.
El Paso rallies
When: 8 p.m. CST today
Where: El Paso County Coliseum
Who: President Donald Trump addresses the need for a border wall
Where to watch: Will be aired live on CSPAN
March for Truth
When: 6 p.m. CST today
Where: Starts at Bowie High School in El Paso and goes to Chalio Acosta Park
Who: Former U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke, the Border Network for Human Rights and state Rep. Cesar Blanco. O’Rourke is scheduled to speak at 8 p.m CST at Chalio Acosta Park
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 Homeland Security. The barriers are a combination of steel and metal mesh and is 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.