It took the Republican mayor of El Paso less than a minute to dismantle Donald Trump’s State of the Union lie that El Paso has gone from one of the most violent cities in the country to the safest solely due to the 2008 construction of a border fence.
In an interview with MSNBC’s Chris Matthews, El Paso’s GOP mayor Dee Margo said that while his city is, indeed, one of the safest in the U.S., it has been that way for quite some time – even before the city built a border fence.
“I talked to our police chief through his staff today and found out in 2008 we were like second,” the mayor said. “In 2009 after the fence was built, we were still second.”
— PoliticusUSA (@politicususa) February 7, 2019
Mayor Margo said:
The postscript of us being one of the safest cities in the nation is correct. We are. We are considered the safest city with a population greater than 500,000. I talked to our police chief through his staff today and found out in 2008, we were like second. In 2009, after the fence was built we were still second. But we’ve progressed to be the number one safest city in the nation. What I’ve said all along is the fence is a part of a process for border control. But is it a panacea? No. And can you build a fence from El Paso to Brownsville, Texas? In reality, the answer is no. The geography of Texas doesn’t allow it. And the fact is that most of Texas is private land.
El Paso has been among the safest cities in the country for more than a decade
While El Paso did construct a border fence in 2008, it was among the country’s safest cities well before it was built.
As Democratic Rep. Veronica Escobar tweeted on Wednesday, “Fact is that El Paso has been one of the safest cities in the nation long before the wall was built in 2008.”
The congresswoman shared a newspaper clipping from 2000 – nearly two decades ago – reporting that El Pasowas the third-safest large city in the United States. That was eight years before a barrier was in place.
In 2003, another newspaper clipping showed that El Paso was the second-safest largest city in the country. That was five years before a fence was constructed.
November 2003 – “El Paso named nation’s 2nd-safest large city” pic.twitter.com/gXlQ6npDbC
— Rep. Veronica Escobar (@RepEscobar) February 6, 2019
According to Factcheck.org, the crime rate in El Paso has been on the decline since the early 1990s – decades before the city’s border fence came to be.
Once again, Donald Trump is just spewing fear and lies in an effort to get his vanity wall on the southern border. But the people that know the area best – both Republican and Democrat – are calling him out.
Sean Colarossi currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was an organizing fellow for both of President Obama’s presidential campaigns. He also worked with Planned Parenthood as an Affordable Care Act Outreach Organizer in 2014, helping northeast Ohio residents obtain health insurance coverage.