clearn.png
Tuesday April 23rd, 2019 2:09AM

As Trump makes case for border wall in Texas, Dems push back

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

EL PASO, Texas (AP) — With another government shutdown threat looming, President Donald Trump headed to the Texas border on Monday to argue his case that walls work as Democrats spurn his demands for billions to build such a barrier.

Trump was bound for El Paso, aiming to reshape the debate around the wall following a damaging shutdown fight and with his signature 2016 campaign promise hanging in limbo. In a case of pointed political counterprogramming, Beto O'Rourke, the former Democratic congressman from Texas now mulling a presidential run, planned an evening El Paso march and rally against the wall with dozens of local civic, human rights and Hispanic groups.

The first dueling rallies of the 2020 election season were set to serve as a preview of a heated yearslong fight over the direction of the country. And they made clear that Trump's long-promised border wall is sure to play an outsized role in the presidential race, as both sides use it to try to rally their supporters and highlight their contrasting approaches.

The rallies launch a crucial week for Trump as Democrats and Republicans remain locked in negotiations over border wall funding ahead of a midnight Friday deadline that could force another government shutdown. While lawmakers and the White House had appeared optimistic at the end of last week that negotiators were closing in on a deal, talks faltered over the weekend over Democrats' demands to limit the number of migrants whom authorities can detain.

Trump tried to put the blame on Democrats as he left Washington, saying they didn't want to provide the bed space needed to detain dangerous people wanting to come into the U.S.

"Now it turns out not only don't they want to give us money for the wall, they don't want to give us the space to detain murderers, criminals, drug dealers, human smugglers," he said. "How bad it that?"

Democrats reject that characterization, countering that they are trying to curb what they see as unnecessarily harsh enforcement by immigration officials.

Trump has repeatedly pointed to El Paso to make his case that a border wall is necessary, claiming that barriers turned the city from one of the nation's most dangerous to one of its safest. But that's not true.

El Paso had a murder rate of less than half the national average in 2005, a year before the most recent expansion of its border fence. That's despite being just across the border from Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, a city plagued by drug violence. The FBI's Uniform Crime Report shows that El Paso's annual number of reported violent crimes dropped from nearly 5,000 in 1995 to around 2,700 in 2016. But that corresponded with similar declines in violent crime nationwide and included periods when the city's crime rates increased year over year, despite new fencing and walls.

The Trump campaign released a video showing El Paso residents saying the wall helped reduce crime. But many in the city have bristled at the prospect of becoming a border wall poster child.

That includes O'Rourke, a potential 2020 candidate, who came close to unseating Sen. Ted Cruz in 2018 and maintains an army of small-dollar donors and a large social media following. While few Democratic candidates have focused on immigration in their launches, O'Rourke has described Trump's calls for the wall as the "cynical rhetoric of war, of invasions, of fear."

"While some try to stoke fear and paranoia, to spread lies and a false narrative about the U.S.-Mexico border and to demand a 2,000-mile wall along it at a time of record safety and security, El Paso will come together for a march and celebration that highlights the truth," he said in a statement ahead of the event.

Moments before leaving the White House, Trump made it clear that O'Rourke was on his mind.

"We have a line that's very long already," Trump said of his El Paso rally. "I understand our competitor has got a line, too, but a tiny little line."

At the time, short lines had formed for both events.

The El Paso rally is Trump's first since the November midterm elections and comes at a precarious moment for his presidency. Weakened by the longest government shutdown in American history, Trump is also contending with the ongoing investigation into Russian election meddling and a flurry of investigations by newly empowered majority Democrats in the House.

___

Colvin reported from Washington

___

Associated Press writers Zeke Miller and Kevin Freking contributed to this report.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP National News, AP Online National News, Top General short headlines, AP Online Headlines - Washington
  • Associated Tags: Congress, trump, Shutdown
© Copyright 2019 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Biden eyes fundraising challenge amid new sense of urgency
Questions about political fundraising are among the nagging issues as former Vice President Joe Biden considers whether to run for the White House in 2020
10:13AM ( 24 minutes ago )
As blackout eases, Venezuela braces for rival rallies
Venezuelan security forces are deploying in large numbers in Caracas ahead of planned demonstrations by supporters of opposition leader Juan Guaido
10:08AM ( 29 minutes ago )
First lady: Growing ease in official role, but not politics
As President Donald Trump shows his eagerness for the coming 2020 re-election battle, less clear is the first lady's fervor for participating in the effort
9:59AM ( 38 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
As budget deficit balloons, few in Washington seem to care
The federal budget deficit is ballooning on President Donald Trump's watch and few in Washington seem to care
9:22AM ( 1 hour ago )
How Facebook stands to profit from its 'privacy' push
Facebook stands to profit from its privacy push, including by expanding lucrative new commercial services, monopolizing users' attention and developing new ways of tracking people
8:41AM ( 1 hour ago )
Don't stop the music: Campaign songs tell candidates' story
The Democratic primary has only just begun, but the presidential candidates already are relying on theme songs that embody their campaigns' spirits
8:19AM ( 2 hours ago )
AP National News
NCAA can claim victory after losing federal antitrust case
The NCAA was able to claim victory Friday night after a judge ruled against the governing body for college sports in a federal antitrust lawsuit
12:05AM ( 10 hours ago )
Judge extends authority to more families separated at border
A federal judge who ordered that more than 2,700 parents be reunited with their children has expanded his authority to potentially thousands more children who were separated at the border earlier during the Trump administration
11:39PM ( 10 hours ago )
Judge rules against NCAA in federal antitrust lawsuit
A judge has ruled against the NCAA in a federal antitrust lawsuit, saying football and basketball players should be permitted to receive more compensation from schools but only if the benefits are tied to education
10:56PM ( 11 hours ago )
AP Online National News
Amazon lobbies to exempt employees from labor protections
Many of Amazon's Seattle-area employees would be exempt from new labor protections passed by the state Senate after lobbyists for the tech giant pushed to lower the salary threshold for the rules
7:26PM ( 15 hours ago )
Trump surveys devastation, pays respects to tornado victims
President Donald Trump has paid his respects to the 23 people who died after a powerful tornado roared through a rural Alabama town
7:24PM ( 15 hours ago )
Manafort case sparks conversation about sentence disparities
A judge's decision to sentence former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort to less than four years in prison sparked widespread anger and opened up a conversation about whether the justice system treats different crimes and criminals fairly
7:22PM ( 15 hours ago )
Top General short headlines
Finland's outgoing premier may bow out as party chair
Finland's outgoing prime minister, who abruptly tendered the resignation of his center-right government just weeks before the general election, says he won't seek to remain as chairman of his party next year if support continues to decline
8:24AM ( 2 hours ago )
Republicans release transcript, push back on Trump probes
House Republicans release the transcript of an interview with a Justice Department official linked to the early days of the Russia investigation
8:46PM ( 13 hours ago )
Posts by Utah lawmaker in conversion therapy debate draw ire
Conservative Utah was getting closer to joining a nationwide effort to ban gay conversion therapy for minors, but it stalled after a Republican lawmaker made changes to the legislation
8:23PM ( 14 hours ago )
AP Online Headlines - Washington
House passage of gun safety bills reflects political shift
The House passed two bills this week to bolster background checks on firearms purchases, showing just how quickly the politics of gun control have turned
7:26PM ( 1 week ago )
House to vote on measure revoking Trump's emergency order
Democrats are moving quickly to try to roll back President Donald Trump's declaration of a national emergency to find money for his border wall
9:16AM ( 1 week ago )
Democrats' resolution against Trump emergency coming Friday
House Democrats will file a resolution Friday aimed at blocking President Donald Trump's declaration of a national emergency on the border with Mexico
9:32PM ( 2 weeks ago )
Congress OKs border deal; Trump will sign, declare emergency
Congress has easily approved a border security compromise that will clear Congress and get President Donald Trump's signature.
12:00AM ( 3 weeks ago )
Immigration spending pact has more than a border wall
Immigration spending pact goes beyond border wall, includes money for other immigration needs
8:00PM ( 3 weeks ago )