El Paso leaders condemn Sessions' remarks about border


EL PASO, Texas (AP) - Community leaders in El Paso are condemning remarks made by the U.S. attorney general during a visit to their city that they say portray the border as a war zone.

Jeff Sessions said Thursday that the border is "ground zero" against cartels and transnational gangs. He also called the border "beachhead."

El Paso County Judge Veronica Escobar called Sessions' comments "offensive" and said they promote a completely erroneous perception of the border.

Escobar told the El Paso Times that rhetoric provides an incorrect answer to one of the first questions professionals ask when they consider moving to the city: whether it's safe.

Congressman Beto O'Rourke, a Democrat from El Paso, said calling the border ground zero makes it difficult to attract professionals to the city.