El Paso Times publishes open letter to Trump defending city

The El Paso Times on Wednesday published a letter to President TrumpDonald John TrumpIllinois governor says state has gotten 10 percent of medical equipments it's requested Biden leads Trump by 6 points in national poll Tesla offers ventilators free of cost to hospitals, Musk says MORE defending its city ahead of the president's visit following a mass shooting there last weekend.

"Mr. President, in your February State of the Union address, you claimed that El Paso was 'one of our nation’s most dangerous cities' before a border wall was built," Tim Archuleta, the paper's editor wrote. "Mr. President, that is not El Paso."

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"Our city and Juárez were always linked. Today, we are intertwined more than ever. The evil that visited us targeted people from El Paso and Juárez alike. In our sorrow, we are more alike than ever.

"Some in our community doubt we will be able to change your view of our border community. But it is important to us that we explain all that is good about El Paso."

Trump is set to visit El Paso Wednesday after Saturday's massacre at a Walmart in the city left 22 dead and dozens injured.

The president has faced fierce criticism in the wake of the shooting, with many highlighting his immigration rhetoric that was mirrored in a manifesto thought to have been posted by the suspected gunman which described fear of an immigrant "invasion."

"Make no mistake. Today is not a happy day. Our city is in pain," Archuleta wrote. "We were targeted by a white supremacist, and we are suffering. We will remember the names of the 22 neighbors who died."

"The violence of that day may have been a product of his hatred. It was not a product of our community."

Trump's planned visit to El Paso has been met with some pushback from current and former lawmakers.

Former El Paso City Councilmember and Rep. Beto O'RourkeBeto O'RourkeO'Rourke slams Texas official who suggested grandparents risk their lives for economy during pandemic Hispanic Caucus campaign arm unveils non-Hispanic endorsements Five Latinas who could be Biden's running mate MORE (D-Texas), who is running for president, announced he would attend an event Wednesday to pay tribute to the shooting victims and counter Trump's visit to the city. 

Current El Paso Mayor Dee Margo (R) also hedged on the president's visit.

“He is the president of the United States,” he told reporters on Monday. “In that capacity, I will fulfill my obligations as mayor of El Paso to meet with the president and discuss whatever our needs are in this community.”

Trump is set to visit the site of a second mass shooting last weekend in Dayton, Ohio, prior to his visit to El Paso.