US: El Paso wall doesn't mean walls are the answer, locals say - PressFrom - US

USEl Paso wall doesn't mean walls are the answer, locals say

02:05  11 february  2019
02:05  11 february  2019 Source:

A border fence did not lower crime rates in El Paso. In fact, crime went up a bit.

A border fence did not lower crime rates in El Paso. In fact, crime went up a bit. During his State of the Union speech, President Trump tried to make the case for his border wall with wildly false claims about the Texas border city. President Donald Trump tried to make the case for his border wall Tuesday during his State of the Union address by repeating a lie about violent crime along the Texas-Mexico border. “The border city of El Paso, Texas, used to have extremely high rates of violent crime — one of the highest in the country, and [was] considered one of our nation’s most dangerous cities. Now, with a powerful barrier in place, El Paso is one of our safest cities,” Trump said.

"Fools," said I, "you do not know Silence like a cancer grows Hear my words that I might teach you Take my arms that I might reach you" But my words like silent raindrops fell And echoed in the wells of silence. This is the original version from 1964 from the album "Wednesday Morning, 3 AM ."

We need the wall for safety,” Trump said last week while answering questions about the sweeping new GOP immigration bill. There is also anecdotal evidence. In local press accounts, El Paso residents and business owners alike have praised the fence, citing it as an effective deterrent to both

El Paso wall doesn't mean walls are the answer, locals say© The Associated Press In this Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2019, photo, Mickie Subia gathers her laundry at her home in El Paso, Texas. Subia lives less than a block away from a border barrier that runs along the Texas-Mexico border in El Paso. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

EL PASO, Texas — People walking over the Paso del Norte Bridge linking this West Texas border city to Mexico can watch President Donald Trump's border wall getting bigger in real time.

Workers in fluorescent smocks can be seen digging trenches, pouring concrete and erecting rust-colored slabs of 18-foot-high metal to replace layers of barbed wire-topped fencing along the mud-colored Rio Grande, which is usually little more than a trickle.

Trump announces campaign rally next week in El Paso, Texas

Trump announces campaign rally next week in El Paso, Texas President Donald Trump's re-election team says he'll hold his first campaign rally of the year next week in Texas. Trump plans to rally supporters on Monday at the county coliseum in El Paso. The president often cites El Paso in arguing his case for building a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border to deter illegal immigration and crime.

U. S. Customs & Border Protection announce the official start of construction for new bollard wall to replace 20-miles of primary vehicle barriers. RUBEN R. RAMIREZ/ EL PASO TIMES.

El Paso may not quite agree, however. In a January 10, 2019, article the El Paso Times investigated the AG’s claim and found that this is simply “not Also of some possible interest might be the sheer number of U. S. citizens involved in drug smuggling across the Mexican border (as compared with

Most of the more than 70,000 people who legally cross four city bridges daily — to shop, go to school and work — pay the construction in the heart of downtown no mind. But on a recent weekday, one man stopped and pointed, saying simply "Trump."

In his State of the Union address, the president said a "powerful barrier" had cut crime rates and turned El Paso from one of the nation's most dangerous cities to one of its safest. He's holding a rally here Monday to show why he's demanding more than 100 miles of new walls, costing $5.7 billion, along the 1,900-mile border, despite opposition from Democrats and some Republicans in Congress.

But many in this city of dusty desert winds and blistering salsa, bristle at the prospect of their home becoming a border wall poster child.

El Paso County passes resolution: 'Disillusioned by President Trump’s lies'

El Paso County passes resolution: 'Disillusioned by President Trump’s lies' Officials in El Paso County, Texas, passed a resolution Monday, just hours before President Trump was set to hold a campaign rally in the area, pushing back on the president's remarks about the situation at the border. MSNBC correspondent Garrett Haake posted a photo of the resolution, which states that the county is "disillusioned by President Trump's lies regarding the border and our community." "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 says.

“The Wall is the Wall , it has never changed or evolved from the first day I conceived of it,” he responded on That was the picture that I was looking for, a little moment that seemed to say a lot." José Rodriguez, a Democrat representing El Paso in the state legislature in Austin, was more

The new wall will replace chain link fencing for four miles from the Chihuahuita neighborhood to Fonseca Dr. Mark R Lambie, El Paso Times.

It's had border barriers for decades, but that isn't why it's a safe place, they say. El Paso, population around 800,000, already had one of the lowest violent crime rates in the U.S. That's despite being just across the border from drug violence-plagued Ciudad Juarez, Mexico.

They argue that El Paso embodies a cross-border spirit that transcends walls rather than proving more are needed.

"The richest of the rich, the poorest of the poor, we all have different reasons for wanting to cross, and people cross every day," said El Paso City Council member Peter Svarzbein.

El Paso lays bare the mixed feelings the border inspires. Even native Beto O'Rourke, a former Democratic congressman now mulling a presidential run, says barriers are inevitable but that Trump's calls for an expanded wall are the "cynical rhetoric of war, of invasions, of fear."

O'Rourke will help lead a Monday evening march opposing the wall with dozens of local civic, human rights and Hispanic groups at the same time Trump is holding his rally. Organizers expect thousands to turn out.

Trump: Congress can negotiate, but 'we're building the wall anyway'

Trump: Congress can negotiate, but 'we're building the wall anyway' President Trump rallied supporters on the southern border Monday night, promising to build a border wall whether negotiators in Congress trying to strike a deal on the issue make progress or not. “As I was walking up to this stage, I was told 'progress is being made with this committee.' Just so you know, we're building the wall anyway,” said Trump, who spoke at the packed El Paso County Coliseum, located just one block north of the U.S.-Mexico border. He stood on a podium with two large red “Finish the Wall” signs hanging in the air to the left and right of him.

Trump said his wall would stop criminals and drug dealers from entering the country; the Democrats said it wouldn' t , and that Trump's demand for billion is obstructing an agreement that already includes border security and will keep the government open when the current funding bill expires at

El Paso got its own version of a border wall in 2008. Many there aren ' t sure it helped anything. Trump has previously said the new wall will be two layers deep, and if it is similar to the highly fortified fencing already in place in Arizona, it will be taller than the 18-to-21-foot-tall fence in El Paso .

"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," O'Rourke said in a statement.

For centuries, virtually nothing but an often easily wadable Rio Grande stood between the city and Juarez. But worsening economic problems in Mexico increased the flow of immigrants into the United States in the 1970s, prompting Congress to approved chain-link fencing here and in San Diego dubbed the "Tortilla Curtain." More barriers were added in the 1990s and 2006.

Public reaction to the security measures initially was positive in some quarters because it helped reduce vagrancy and petty crime. But many residents now complain that Trump's demands have gone too far, making their home sound like a war zone and offending both them and people from Mexico.

"The border is fluid culturally, economically," said Cesar Blanco, a Democratic lawmaker who lives a stone's throw from the wall. "We are a binational community."

Border Patrol arrests 330 in New Mexico, many of them unaccompanied minors

Border Patrol arrests 330 in New Mexico, many of them unaccompanied minors The Border Patrol's El Paso sector announced Monday that its agents had taken 330 migrants into custody, hours before President Trump was to visit the sector to make his latest pitch for a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. The migrants were arrested shortly after midnight at the Antelope Wells entry point in southern New Mexico, which is part of the Border Patrol's El Paso sector. U.S.

Trump to visit El Paso for a 2020 campaign rally at El Paso County Coliseum. Steve Ortega, a close friend of O'Rourke who served with him on El Paso 's City Council, said he doesn ' t know whether Border wall construction has begun in El Paso beneath the Stanton Street International Bridge in

Video. The border wall was one of President Trump's favorite topics on the campaign trail.CreditCreditTodd Heisler/The New York Times. WASHINGTON — In an early-morning Twitter post

Those who live near the wall say they see few people climbing the barriers now. In fiscal year 2017, about 25,000 people were apprehended in Border Patrol's El Paso sector, down from 122,000-plus in fiscal year 2006.

Instead, those crossing illegally now tend to do so outside the city in desolate deserts where deaths from exposure have risen. Democrats argue that electronic sensors and patrols are a more effective answer for additional border security.

The demand for more and bigger walls has become "the supreme symbol of racism," said Fernando Garcia, executive director of the Border Network for Human Rights in El Paso. "Obviously he'll have some people attend his rally," he said of Trump, but "he cannot lie about what we're about.'"

Many Republicans, though, insist the low crime rate here is not a coincidence.

"There are regular shoot-outs near the border, dangerous narcotics trafficked," said recently elected Republican Congressman Chip Roy, who represents a district between Austin and San Antonio. "The good news is that we can stop this," Roy said in a post-State of the Union fundraising email championing a Trump-backed wall.

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 to similar declines in violent crime nationwide and included times when the city's crime rates actually increased year-over-year, despite new fencing and walls.

Beto vs. Trump: Who Had the Bigger Crowd?

Beto vs. Trump: Who Had the Bigger Crowd? The answer is not clear, with no official count at either rally, but the president's crowd appears to have been larger based on estimates.

The Mexico–United States barrier (Spanish: barrera México–Estados Unidos), colloquially called simply the Border Wall , is a series of vertical barriers along the Mexico–United States border aimed at

The proposed wall doesn ’ t seem to faze locals at all. Firstly, they argue it will be a boost to the local economy. A bn wall would inject bn into the Not mentioned in the article is the peaceful, very low-crime nature of El Paso life, which has persisted through all phases of its close intermingling with

The towering barriers don't stop Juarez from almost seeming like another neighborhood in El Paso. From many places, you can see white city buses rumbling on the other side of the border and read green street signs marking that city's major thoroughfares in Spanish. Buildings more than a few stories tall in El Paso have sweeping views of downtown Juarez.

Mickie Subia's single-story home in the historic, downtown Chihuahuita neighborhood is steps from the barrier, providing glimpses of Mexico through fencing and metal slats. She said the wall doesn't make her feel safer.

"We don't have a problem with Border Patrol," Subia said. "We don't have a problem with anyone coming from over there, either."

Dee Margo, El Paso's mayor and a former Republican state lawmaker, tweeted after the State of the Union that his city was "NEVER one of the MOST dangerous cities in the U.S.," adding that border walls are only partly the reason.

"I'm really glad President Trump is coming here," he said in a subsequent interview. "I just hope we get chance to show him what it's really like on the border."


Associated Press writer Astrid Galvan contributed to this report.

O'Rourke says he'd 'absolutely' take down border wall near El Paso if he could.
Former Rep. Beto O'Rourke (D-Texas) said Thursday he would "absolutely" take down the border wall in El Paso, Texas, arguing that the structure has not made the city demonstrably safer. MSNBC host Chris Hayes posed a question from Rep. Dan Crenshaw about whether O'Rourke would get rid of the wall if he could "snap your fingers" and make it happen. "Yes. Absolutely. I'd take the wall down," O'Rourke said on "All In" during an interv iew near the border on Thursday. O'Rourke, who represented El Paso in Congress for three terms, added that he believes city residents would pass a referendum to remove the wall if it were put up for a vote.

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