President Trump is holding a rally Monday night to make his case for building a wall along the southern border, traveling to El Paso, Texas, as congressional negotiatorsover border security funding to avert another shutdown by a Friday deadline.
Former Rep. Beto O’Rourke, a Texas Democrat who is considering a 2020 presidential run, is set to speak at the conclusion of a “March for Truth” organized by liberal groups. O’Rourke is scheduled to begin his remarks at 9 p.m. ET, the same time Mr. Trump is due to take the stage just half a mile away.
More than once, the president has held El Paso up as an example of how a city’s safety can be improved by the construction of a wall. Last week, in his State of the Union address, Mr. Trump said El Paso had been “considered one of our nation’s most dangerous cities” until a border wall was built in 2009.
“Now, with a powerful barrier in place, El Paso is one of our safest cities,” Mr. Trump said.
But this claim isn’t true. As Politifact points out, the city’s violent crime rate “was significantly lower than the average for all localities of a similar size” for every year between 1985 and 2014. El Paso’s had an estimated population of 683,577 people in 2017, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
Additionally, in 2007, the year before El Paso began building the 42 miles of fence Mr. Trump appeared to be referencing, El Paso’s crime rate was higher than 2010, when it was completed. Politifact also points out that from 2007 to 2010, the rate of violent crime went up by 5.5 percent.