Beto vs. Trump: Dueling rallies along the US-Mexico border

Beto vs. Trump: Dueling rallies along the US-Mexico border

"El Paso has never had 'one of the highest rates of violent crime in the entire country, ' according to Federal Bureau of Investigation data". Some sported "Make America Great Again" hats, and said they were there to show their support for the construction of a wall at the border.

"Tonight, the President will join the millions of Americans who understand that a southern border wall is essential to border security".

O'Rourke has denounced Trump on Twitter for stoking "false fear" about immigrants and said the city must use the president's visit to "tell the true story about the border".

A standoff between the president and Democrats in Congress over Trump's demand for $5.7 billion for border wall construction led to an unprecedented 35-day partial federal government shutdown from just before Christmas until late last month. The event will be held a mile away from the El Paso County Coliseum to counter the president's hardline stance on immigration.

"Now, with a powerful barrier in place, El Paso is one of our safest cities", Trump said.

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"The president is coming to El Paso Monday". So far, O'Rourke has not made a decision. The events, which will feature music and other speakers, are meant to highlight El Paso's strength as a binational community - and push back against Trump's long-sought border wall.

In a tweet, El Paso Mayor Dee Margo, a Republican, panned the president: "El Paso was NEVER one of the MOST risky cities in the U.S. We've had a fence for 10 years and it has impacted illegal immigration and curbed criminal activity".

"The border city of El Paso, Texas, used to have extremely high rates of violent crime - one of the highest in the county, and considered one of our nation's most unsafe cities", Trump said in the address.

In response to his statement, Democratic Rep. Veronica Escobar wrote to Trump asking him to apologize to the residents of the city - which she represents - for his comments.

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