Trump to hold rally in El Paso Monday

EL PASO – President Donald Trump’s campaign on Wednesday said that he will have a rally in El Paso on Monday, an announcement that comes hours after the he referenced the city in his State of the Union speech to support his push for a border wall, according to the El Paso Times.

The event is scheduled for 7pm Mountain Time at the El Paso County Coliseum, according to the campaign. It will be his seventh rally in Texas and his first in El Paso.

“As the president continues his fight to secure our border, there’s no better place to demonstrate that walls work than in El Paso,” said Michael Glassner, chief operating officer of Trump’s campaign, in a statement. “President Trump looks forward to visiting with the patriots of Texas who are on the front lines of the struggle against open border Democrats who allow drugs, crime, and sex trafficking all along our border every day.”

Trump on Tuesday claimed that El Paso used to be considered a dangerous city and it only became safe after a fence was constructed.

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

A fact check by the El Paso Times shows that the crime rate in El Paso decreased before the fencing was constructed. The president’s comments angered many leaders in El Paso, including Mayor Dee Margo, a Republican, who tweeted that “El Paso was NEVER one of the MOST dangerous cities in the US.” On Wednesday morning, Margo said he was pleased to hear about the rally. “I think it’s a positive he’s coming here,” he told the El Paso Times. “I’ve been saying for months that I want to talk about the border and now he’s coming to El Paso. I hope he’ll allow me the chance to visit with him.” Jon Barela, chief executive officer of the Borderplex Alliance, said he also sees the rally as an opportunity for the president to understand El Paso. “This is an opportunity for him to see first-hand that we are one of the safest cities in the U.S., thriving, and a model for how you create opportunity, jobs and hope on both sides of the border,” he said in a statement. Far West Texas state Sen. José Rodríguez, D-El Paso, disagreed and said Trump’s visit to El Paso will only perpetuate the lie he told at the State of the Union. “We know that he is not coming here to learn about realities, as far as I know,” Rodríguez said. “He hasn’t reached out to any aid workers, lawyers or local officials or anyone involved with meetings with migrants. He’s only engaged in a campaign thing. “He’s going to come to campaign, make his comments that this is a dangerous border that needs further militarization. We reject that in El Paso, we reject that all across the border. It’s based on a lie.” U.S. Rep. Veronica Escobar, D-El Paso, called the president out on Twitter immediately after the State of the Union address:

Rep. Veronica Escobar: @RepEscobar, He lies. @POTUS is once again lying and using the #SOTU address to spread falsehoods about our beloved city of El Paso. Fact is that El Paso has been one of the safest cities in the nation long before the wall was built in 2008. #WallsDontWork.