This week, Arizona 360 embarked on a journey to continue our coverage of border-related issues. We traveled across state lines to trace the international border through New Mexico and to El Paso, Texas where President Trump held a campaign rally Monday. Our travels took us to the rally, and to communities along the way, where we sought to understand if rhetoric about border security reflects a crisis at the U.S. southern border.
The same night President Trump held his campaign rally in El Paso, former Democratic Rep. Beto O'Rourke held his own public event nearby. Each drew thousands of supporters for the politicians. At a demonstration opposing the president's border policies, Arizona 360 met a woman who said she traveled from her home in Globe, Arizona, to attend O'Rourke's event.
"I think it's important to show up. Just to show up and show support for this, and show how many people actually don't agree with the policies of putting children in cages," Colleen Abbott said.
Outside President Trump's campaign rally at the El Paso County Coliseum, the line snaked down the sidewalk, and not everyone could get inside the venue. Supporters shared their reactions to their city being underscored at the State of the Union.
"When I was a young child I lived right by the border and we did have a major problem with theft and crime. Now that the border wall is up I think it has made a difference," Martha Velasco, a lifelong resident of El Paso, said.