With Democratic and Republican lawmakers struggling to strike a border security compromise that would satisfy Trump and prevent another government shutdown, the president has in recent days frequently suggested that he would use his emergency powers to build the wall. "This will fund about 55 miles of fencing".
The news broke moments before Mr. Trump took the stage, though he said he didn't know what to make of it.
Ken Paxton, Texas' attorney general, told Trump on a previous visit had said the 131 miles of fencing whose construction began during the George W. Bush administration but was completed under President Obama in 2011 had taken El Paso from one of the most unsafe cities in the United States to one of its safest. "They will say Beto O'Rourke-that's his last name, right, O'Rourke?-had a wonderful rally of about 15 people" Trump said. "A wall is a very good thing, not a bad thing".
O'Rourke, whose unexpectedly close but ultimately unsuccessful campaign for U.S. Senate generated buzz about a 2020 presidential bid, said last week he will decide by the end of the month whether to run. He decried the Trump administration's separation of immigrant children from their parents at the border. "Safe not because of walls, and not in spite of the fact that we are a city of immigrants".
The protest comes ahead of Trump's Monday visit to El Paso, which is located about eight miles from Sunland Park. On Friday, O'Rourke published a Medium post laying out his argument for why Trump's characterization of El Paso is wrong and why a wall is not needed, along with 10 proposals for immigration policy.
Men and women, waving American and Confederate flags, linked hands in support of the wall's construction. "U.S.!" and "Build that wall!" to drown out several demonstrators who interrupted Trump multiple times. If Trump doesn't go along, however, some GOP senators say they're unlikely to go along with it, although Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Kentucky Republican, hasn't ruled out bringing it to a vote.
Shortly after the deal was reached, Mr Trump held a rally in the border city of El Paso, Texas, to argue for the wall he said could protect Americans from violent criminals, drugs and a "tremendous onslaught" of migrant caravans. "I understand our competitor has got a line, too, but a tiny little line". Even where Trump is mostly despised, he can still draw a huge crowd.
CNN's Jeff Zeleny reported that he believed O'Rourke's crowd to be "a few thousand".
Trump's audience inside the coliseum was 6,500, at capacity, El Paso Fire Department public information officer Enrique Aguilar told the El Paso Times.
The border wall was one of the Trump election campaign's main promises.
"Here in one of the safest cities in the United States of America".
"The wall has not saved lives".
"If the four of us couldn't get it together, Congress never could", said Leahy of Vermont, the Senate Appropriations panel's top Democrat. "We are going to show the country who we are". "The rest of the country could stand to learn a lesson from the way in which the El Paso community engages with people". As he put it, "We stand for America and against walls".
"The Democrats do not want us to detain, or send back, criminal aliens! Instead, we welcome them with open arms".
As Mr. Trump spoke, Mr. O'Rourke - who narrowly lost to Sen.
It was a flawless setting for Trump to draw out the contrasts between his GOP and the Democratic Party heading into the 2020 cycle. "It has ended lives", O'Rourke, a potential 2020 Democratic candidate, said Monday. He criticized Democrats for wanting to put a cap on the bed capacity at detention facilities, saying that would be "cutting loose risky criminals into our country".