Beto O’Rourke’s counter Trump rally in El Paso, Texas

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"Just so you know, we're building the wall anyway", he said to raucous applause, underneath "Finish The Wall" banners.

"We are a Democratic county in a Republican state; it's definitely good to see a great turnout", said his sister Angelica Widman, 40.

Trump wasted no time mocking O'Rourke, who held a dueling rally in El Paso, Texas, to oppose Trump's wall, calling him a "young man" who has "very little going for himself except he has a great first name".

Beto O'Rourke, Democratic former Texas congressman, participates in an anti-Trump march in El Paso, Texas, Feb. 11, 2019. Simply put, walls work and walls save lives. He declared, in familiar style, that "walls save lives", that "walls are not immoral, human trafficking is immoral, drug peddling is immoral".

'From what I hear he had less than 1,000 people, ' Trump said. Referencing Trump's rally in El Paso, Hannity added, "Any Republican that supports this garbage compromise, you will have to explain - look at this crowd, look at the country".

Although supporters of O'Rourke would love to see him have a better showing in his hometown, WFAA-TV reporter Jason Whitely said that only a couple of thousand of people showed up.

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Whether he meant to or not, O'Rourke played right into Trump's drama.

The opposition rally, which followed a march from a high school, attracted about 7,000 people, according to an event organizer, citing an estimate from local law enforcement officials.

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"He's got to quit trying to instill fear", said Sigman, referring to Trump's false claim that El Paso was one of the most unsafe cities in the country before a border wall was built about 10 years ago.

During his State of the Union address last week, the President made an inaccurate connection between El Paso's previously high crime rates and the construction of a border wall.

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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. El Paso, right next door, had 23 murders. "El Paso's violent crime rate dropped 62 percent from its peak in 1993 to 2007, a year before constriction on the fence began", the resolution read. He said El Paso was a peaceful and safe city "because we treat one another with dignity and respect".

The rallies launch a crucial week for Trump as Democrats and Republicans remain locked in negotiations over border wall funding ahead of a midnight Friday deadline that could force another government shutdown. There were also Trump supporters who drove for hours to get to the rally from elsewhere in Texas and from New Mexico.

Shelby, Lowey, Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., and Rep. Kay Granger, R-Texas, participated in the Monday meetings. "Who knows", added Trump. The lawmakers are on a bipartisan conference committee charged with striking a border security deal. Without such an agreement, part of the federal government again faces a shutdown.

"The rally came as members of Congress reportedly agreed to the terms of a funding deal that would avert another partial government shutdown".

Democrats objected, and Trump forced a 35-day partial shutdown beginning December 22 to pressure Congress to act.

President Donald Trump headed to the Texas border Monday to argue his case that walls work as Democrats spurn his demands for billions to build such a barrier.

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