Donald Trump & Beto O’Rourke Face Off In Opposing Rallies On Southern Border
O’Rourke, 46, led a protest march against Trump’s proposed U.S.-Mexico border wall, a longtime promise over which the president chose to shut down the government for 35 days and for which he is demanding $5.7 billion.
For several weeks, Trump has labeled the situation involving illegal immigration at the border a “national crisis,” despite numerous reports that show illicit border crossings and apprehensions of migrants at the border are at the lowest in many years. O’Rourke, who is believed to be a 2020 presidential hopeful, inspired millions of Americans with his charisma despite falling short on his Senate bid in November and losing to GOP Sen. Ted Cruz.
During last week’s State of the Union Address, Trump cited El Paso as one of several U.S. border cities that he claims have witnessed high levels of illegal immigration.
“I think the president’s decision to focus on El Paso and his horrible demonization and vilification of immigrants, specifically Mexican immigrants, and his desire to make us afraid of the border can work to our advantage,” O’Rourke told the El Paso Times. “In other words, as he comes down here and as he referred to El Paso in his State of the Union speech, the eyes of the country are literally on us and will be even more so on Monday.”
The newspaper also said O’Rourke’s team described the protest march at the border as a chance to “show the country the reality of the border — a vibrant, safe, bi-national community that proudly celebrates its culture, history, diversity and status as a city of immigrants.”
Data shows the number of annual violent crimes in El Paso has steadily declined since reaching its peak in 1993.
In a recent interview with Oprah Winfrey, O’Rourke said he would announce by the end of the month whether or not he would run for president in 2020. The young Democrat, who last year blasted Trump several times for his policy of separating migrant families at the border, commented again on the issue with Winfrey and said the process of holding immigrant children in detention centers was “tantamount to torture.”