El Paso bristles at Trump’s claim that wall made city safe

EL PASO, Texas — Individuals strolling over the Paso del Norte Bridge linking this West Texas border city to Mexico can watch President Donald Trump’s border wall getting greater in actual time.

Staff in fluorescent smocks might be seen digging trenches, pouring concrete and erecting rust-coloured slabs of 18-foot-high metallic to exchange layers of barbed wire-topped fencing alongside the mud-coloured Rio Grande, which is often little more than a trickle.

A lot of the more than 70,000 people who legally cross 4 city bridges day by day — to buy, go to high school and work — pay the development within the coronary heart of downtown no mind. But on a current weekday, one man stopped and pointed, saying simply “Trump.”

In his State of the Union tackle, the president stated a “powerful barrier” had reduce crime charges in El Paso. He’s holding a rally here Monday to point out why he’s demanding more than one hundred miles of latest partitions, costing $5.7 billion, along the 1,900-mile border, regardless of opposition from Democrats and a few Republicans in Congress.

However many on this metropolis of dusty desert winds and blistering salsa, bristle at the prospect of their house turning into a border wall poster baby.

Trump stated obstacles turned El Paso from one of the nation’s most harmful cities to certainly one of its safest, however that’s not true. El Paso, population round 800,000, had a murder fee less than half the nationwide common in 2005, a yr before the newest enlargement of its border fence. That’s despite being simply throughout the border from drug violence-plagued Ciudad Juarez, Mexico.

Many residents say El Paso embodies a cross-border spirit that transcends partitions slightly than proving more are wanted.

“The richest of the rich, the poorest of the poor, all of us have totally different causes for eager to cross, and other people cross day by day,” stated El Paso Metropolis Council member Peter Svarzbein.

El Paso lays bare the combined emotions the border evokes. Even native Beto O’Rourke, a former Democratic congressman now mulling a presidential run, says obstacles are inevitable however that Trump’s requires an expanded wall are the “cynical rhetoric of warfare, of invasions, of worry.”

O’Rourke will help lead a Monday night march opposing the wall with dozens of native civic, human rights and Hispanic teams on the similar time Trump is holding his rally. Organizers anticipate hundreds to end up.

“Whereas some attempt to stoke worry and paranoia, to spread lies and a false narrative concerning the U.S.-Mexico border and to demand a 2,000-mile wall along it at a time of report security and security, El Paso will come collectively for a march and celebration that highlights the truth,” O’Rourke stated in a press release.

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