Trump owes El Paso an apology, Texas congresswoman says
Democratic Congresswoman Veronica Escobar sent a letter to President Donald Trump on Thursday asking him to apologize to El Pasoans for misrepresenting their hometown during his State of the Union address Tuesday.
In his address to Congress, Trump said El Paso was once one of the country’s “most dangerous cities,” but now is an example of how communities benefit from border barriers.
“Simply put, walls work and walls save lives,” Trump said. “So let’s work together, compromise, and reach a deal that will truly make America safe.”
Escobar, of El Paso, said Trump’s claims were false, and that El Paso was safe long before the wall was built.
“El Paso has never been one of the most ‘dangerous cities’ in the country, and our safety and security has long been a point of pride,” she wrote. “These distortions about our vibrant community are harmful to our reputation and degrade our spirit.”
Escobar pointed to data from the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting program that shows El Paso, with a population of about 700,000, has fewer violent crimes than similar-sized cities such as Tucson and Tula, Okla.
Its crime rate is below the national average, the FBI reports.
Violent crimes in the city have plunged since the 1990s, long before the wall was built in 2009. The number of murders peaked at 56 in 1993 and typically have been at 20 a year or below since 2000.
The day after the State of the Union speech, Trump announced his plans to hold a campaign rally in El Paso on Monday. While he’s in town, Escobar invited Trump to tour the community and talk to people who live and work there — including law enforcement officials.
“I urge you to treat this visit as your opportunity not only to correct the record and ensure that the misinformation you stated on the national stage is retracted, but also an opportunity to apologize to El Pasoans for the disparagement of our community,” she wrote.