President Trump is holding a “Make America Great Again” rally in El Paso, Texas, Monday evening to make a case for a physical barrier along the U.S.-Mexico divide with a budget deadline fast approaching and the prospect of yet another partial government shutdown looming.
The rally, Trump’s first since late November, is set to start at 9 p.m. EST.
Trump’s re-election campaign announced the event last week, saying “there’s no better place” than El Paso to demonstrate the success of a border wall.
Although Trump’s team has highlighted the border city as being a wall success story in which the violent crime rate decreased upon the barrier’s completion, that claim has been disputed by fact-checkers. An El Paso Times review found the rate of crime in the city did not substantially drop after the wall was constructed a decade ago.
The rally comes after negotiations in Congress for a long-term budget deal to fund wide swaths of the government broke down over disagreements regarding Trump’s demand for border wall funding and illegal immigrant detentions. The two sides have a deadline of Feb. 15, after which another partial government shutdown will commence if a deal isn’t made. This would follow a record-breaking 35-day shutdown that ended late last month.
Possible 2020 presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke, the Texas Democrat who lost his bid to usurp Ted Cruz’s Senate seat last year, is holding a counter-rally to Trump’s at the same time in El Paso.