O'Rourke says there's 'nothing to be afraid of'

Supporters of U.S. border security make a human wall to demonstrate their support for a border wall between the U.S. and Mexico at Sunland Park N.M. Feb. 9 2019

At his rally Monday night, the president again argued for the construction of a wall along the U.S. -Mexico border by railing against illegal immigration and falsely linking undocumented immigrants to disproportionate crime.

"With the eyes of the country upon us, all of us together are going to make our stand here in one of the safest cities in America", O'Rourke said.

The White House and congressional leaders have struggled for months to reach an agreement on a government funding bill because of major differences between Democrats and Republicans over immigration policy.

Trump suggested that those chanting "Build the Wall" switch to "Finish the Wall".

O'Rourke gave GOP Sen. "You're supposed to win before you run, '" Trump said of O'Rourke.

And like Trump, O'Rourke used Twitter to spark attention about issues that matter to him.

One hot topic after the rallies was crowd size.

'A young man who's got very little going for himself except he's got a great first name. He rejected what he described as Trump's call for "walls to keep them out", saying they should be "welcomed".

"In fact, what I'd do, what I would say is that may be the end of his presidential bid".

The crowd cheered its approval after he asked, "How would I look walking a dog on the White House lawn?" The number of beds in detention facilities has been a contentious part of the negotiations because it can either constrain or expand the Trump administration's ability to aggressively deport more immigrants, including those seeking asylum.

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Not only did President Trump repeatedly mention O'Rourke and his efforts, but numerous sources disputed the crowd number.

"I love way Fernando [Garcia] is talking about El Paso and El Segundo Barrio being the Ellis Island for so much of the world".

As for O'Rourke, NBC News estimated that there were 7,000 and 8,000 people at his rally and march. "It might be 10,000 with the people outside", watching on monitors.

There was a sharp contrast in the content of the speeches. He also talked about those who have spoken out against those claims.

Democrat Beto O'Rourke says El Paso, Texas, is "one of the safest cities in America - safe not because of walls but in spite of walls".

"I spoke to people that have been there a long time". But just as Trump was preparing to take the stage in Texas, lawmakers in Washington suddenly announced they had reached a tentative agreement for a deal that would include $1.7 billion in border security funding. 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.

O'Rourke directly took on Trump over border security and Trump's desire for a wall or other physical barrier.

"That's not the truth but at the same time the message still has to be we need a wall", said El Paso resident Adrian Rodriguez.

Jill Normington, a Democratic pollster who is not working for a presidential campaign, said polling shows clearly that the top priority for Democratic primary voters is finding a candidate who will defeat Trump, although there is not yet any agreement on what qualities will make that happen. O'Rourke may also have to contend against former vice-president Joe Biden. Instead, Democrats' push for new restrictions on immigrant detentions has led to the stalemate. He shares 10/1 odds with Biden.

Texas Tribune: "Donald Trump and Beto O'Rourke go head-to-head in El Paso" - "President Donald Trump kicked off his first major rally of the year here the same way he campaigned during his successful 2016 bid: by unleashing a torrent of criticism on the media, pushing back against allegations of collusion with Russian Federation, and promising once more to end illegal immigration and build a wall on the southern border".

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