Washington, DC—Below is a statement by United States Conference of Mayors President and Columbia (SC) Mayor Steve Benjamin in support of El Paso (TX) Mayor Dee Margo:

“Last night during his rally in El Paso, President Trump claimed that El Paso Mayor Dee Margo was ‘full of crap’ because he and other local officials have said that a border fence has not made a difference in reducing crime in the city.

“This is simply untrue.  Credible statistics validated by the FBI and other local law enforcement officials show that El Paso has never been one of the nation’s most dangerous cities and was a safe city long before any wall was built along the border.  In fact, just last month Mayor Margo briefed the nation’s mayors during the Conference’s 87th Winter Meeting about the great progress the city has made with Mexico as one of the largest binational workforces in the Western Hemisphere—ushering in an era of exponential economic growth with over $82 billion in import/export trade.

“Public safety is the top priority for Mayors across this country.  As the elected officials closest to the ground, we know firsthand what the security situation is in our cities.  We make our decisions based on the facts and what we know to be true.

“Moreover, this kind of criticism only contributes to the further loss of civility in public discourse and prevents us from moving forward together to make our cities and our country stronger and more secure.

“Through the United States Conference of Mayors, we stand together in support of Mayor Margo.  We appeal for a return to a respectful and far more productive discussion of the difficult issues confronting our cities and our nation at this time.”