As part of his pitch for a border wall, President Donald Trump pointed to a city slightly larger than Baltimore that "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 unsafe cities". Richard Shelby of Alabama.
Trump had previously said he doesn't expect the talks to produce much, and he's threatened to declare a national emergency to bypass Congress and build a wall on the U.S. -Mexico border.
The White House said Trump will hold his 1st campaign rally of the year next Monday in El Paso, Texas.
"If they come up with a bipartisan agreement, I'm happy to support it", Speaker Pelosi said. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., another participant, said both sides are showing flexibility, including Democrats who insisted during the recently-ended 35-day shutdown on no wall funding at all. She said that, if left alone, the negotiators "can have an agreement on time" by an informal deadline this Friday.
There's a February 15 deadline to enact the measure or a stopgap spending bill to avert another partial government shutdown, which neither side wants to reprise.
"[Trump's] fearmongering and lies have hurt our border economy and community - one of the safest cities in America, even before the wall", Blanco said in an emailed statement.
During Tuesday's State of the Union address, Trump highlighted the border city, along with San Diego, California, as examples of a lower crime rate since fencing was constructed along the U.S. -Mexico border.
Immigration and crime researchers told us that El Paso historically has not been regarded as one of the most risky cities in the United States.
No. 2 Senate Democratic leader Richard Durbin said lawmakers were told the top priority was technology that could screen vehicles for drugs or migrants at border ports of entry. But violent crime fell long before the wall was built in El Paso, with violent crime falling 34% between 1993 and 2006 in the city.
"They are not opposed to barriers", Blunt said about Democrats. He said he believes the weekend will involve talks that go beyond the negotiations over wall funding, to more general budget issues and other topics. Its violent crime rate has been significantly below the national average compared to cities of similar size.
"If it were me, I would have gone a little harder", said Pima County Republican Party Vice Chairman Chris King, at the Tucson "watch party".
"The only thing that can stop it", he said, "are foolish wars, politics or ridiculous partisan investigations" - an apparent swipe at the special counsel investigation into ties between Russian Federation and Trump's 2016 campaign, as well as the upcoming congressional investigations.