Ahead of President Donald Trump’s rally in El Paso Monday evening, El Paso County passed a resolution stating it is “disillusioned” by the president’s “lies regarding the border and our community” and that he is unwelcome in that regard.
The county passed the resolution hours before Trump’s “Make America Great Again” rally, slated to start at the El Paso County Coliseum at 7 p.m. MT (9 p.m. ET). Among the “whereas” statements in the resolution is one stating that “it is possible that false statements about El Paso will continue to be made” by Trump at the rally.
“El Paso is disillusioned by President Donald Trump’s lies regarding the border and our community,” the resolution concluded. “And though it is difficult to welcome him to El Paso while he continues to proliferate such untruths, we do welcome him to meet with local officials to become properly informed about our great and safe region.”
The resolution stated that Trump, in his State of the Union address last week, “falsely stated that El Paso was one of the most dangerous cities in the United States until the construction of border fencing.” Residents and local law enforcement members quickly disputed Trump’s claim after the speech. In fact, “El Paso’s violent crime rate dropped 62 percent from its peak in 1993 to 2007, a year before constriction on the fence began,” the resolution states.
“We remain upset that neither the president nor administration officials have reached out to local elected officials or local law enforcement entities to correctly inform themselves about El Paso or our borderland,” the resolution reads.
In his State of the Union, Trump said that El Paso “used to have extremely high rates of violent crime” and became one of the country’s safest cities only after a barrier was erected. “Simply put, walls work and walls save lives,” the president said. “So let’s work together, compromise, and reach a deal that will truly make America safe.”
Former Democratic congressman Beto O’Rourke, a native of El Paso, also contested Trump’s statements about the border town after the State of the Union.
O’Rourke is set to speak at the “March for Truth: Stop the Wall, Stop the Lies” event starting just a mile away from the coliseum and taking place at the same time as Trump’s rally.
“We will meet lies and hate with the truth and a positive, inclusive, ambitious vision for the future from the U.S.-Mexico border,” O’Rourke tweeted on Monday afternoon.
El Paso is primarily Democratic, like the other large cities in Texas, which is overall mostly Republican.