President Donald Trump held a rally in the border city of El Paso in Texas on Monday to gather support for the U.S.-Mexico border wall despite Democrats opposing his demand for $5.7 billion to build it. Trump made the trip in hopes that he could reshape the dispute around the wall after the damaging shutdown.

Meanwhile, former Democratic congressman from Texas, Beto O’Rourke held a rally Monday opposing the wall along with several local civic, human rights and Hispanic groups. More than 5,000 people took part in the march, called the “March for Truth: Stop the Wall, Stop the Lies.” It was organized by Women’s March El Paso. It was followed by a speech by O’Rourke at a baseball stadium across the street from the arena where Trump was endorsing his border wall.

With two opposing rallies taking place not half a mile from each other, the Texan police had beefed up security in the area, anticipating clashes. In one such incident, the police were called to disperse a group of protesters after they refused to leave the Trump rally. The police lined up between the Trump and O’Rourke supporters attempting to stop any violence taking place.

Some Trump supporters even attempted to throw anti-Trump supporters from the stadium where the president was giving his speech. In two other separate incidents, two men were detained by the police. One of them allegedly told anti-Trump protestors that they were going to hell and the other man shoved some photographers and journalists during Trump's speech.

Republican Senator Ted Cruz from Texas, who was also present at Trump's rally, said when it came to immigration, the people of Texas understood it was time to build the wall. He spoke the crowd before Trump and said the goal of building the wall was to stop human traffickers and drug trafficking. According to him, though the people of Texas welcome legal immigrants, they believe the immigrants need to stand in line and follow the rules.

In his speech, Trump targeted the mayor of El Paso, Dee Margo, who criticized Trump for his claims on the drop in crime level in the city since a barrier was made. He said, “People are full of crap if they say a border fence hasn’t made a difference in reducing crime in El Paso. There’s no place better to talk about border security whether they like it or not. I’ve been hearing a lot of things. ‘Oh the wall didn’t make that much of a difference.’ You know where it made a big difference, right here in El Paso.”

During his State of the Union speech earlier this month, Trump infuriated the locals of El Paso after he claimed the city was an example of how walls work. Countering this, the locals said the wall was not the reason the city was safe. The El Paso Times also reported that even though violent crimes peaked in the city in 1993, by 2006 the rate became subsequently low. This meant the border fencing erected in 2009 didn’t have a role in bringing down crime rates.

In his speech, O’Rourke called the city “One of the safest cities in the United States of America. Not because of the walls, but in spite of the walls.”

beto o'rourke
Former Democratic congressman from Texas, Beto O’Rourke, speaking during the "March for Truth" rally at El Paso, Texas, Feb. 11, 2019. PAUL RATJE/AFP/Getty Images

He further said walls don’t save lives but end them, referring to the danger that asylum seekers rejected by the U.S. face. He told the crowd that it was time to “show the country that there is nothing to be afraid of when it comes to the US-Mexico border."

A statement released by O’Rourke’s office earlier in the day said, “The rally on Monday will show the people the reality of the border- a vibrant, safe, binational community that proudly celebrates its culture, history, diversity and status as a city of immigrants.” The statement also said that there will be attempts to stoke fear and paranoia, to spread lies about the border and a demand for the wall along the border during the time of safety and security. “El Paso will come together for a march and celebration for highlighting the truth,” it said.

O’Rourke is considering running for the 2020 presidential elections but hasn’t made any announcement yet.