The United States continues to struggle under the weight of the Trump administration’s insistence that a wall must be constructed along the southern border, or else. This Tuesday, Vice President Mike Pence again floated lies in defense of that position during an appearance on Good Morning America.
Vice Pres. Pence talks to @jonkarl on shutdown stalemate: “We need new resources. We need to build a wall. We need Congress to come to the table and work with this president.” pic.twitter.com/Ncbx55dkSd
— Good Morning America (@GMA) January 8, 2019
Following after other Trump team members who have done the same, Pence pointed to thousands of known or suspected terrorists who have been apprehended trying to enter the United States in the last year as justification for the wall. The problem with that assertion, though, is that the vast majority of those individuals were not encountered along the southern border and the point is essentially completely irrelevant to the question of whether or not a border wall is needed.
CNN shares that of the roughly 4,000 known or suspected terrorists known to have tried to make it into the U.S. between October 2017 or October 2018, just 12 were encountered at the United States’ border with Mexico.
The State Department has repeatedly dismissed the threat of terrorism from Mexico in their routine assessments of the global terror threat, insisting that there is “no credible information that any member of a terrorist group has traveled through Mexico to gain access to the United States.”
ABC’s Jon Karl attempted to point these issues out to Pence during their conversation this week, but to no avail.
The vice president jumped into pointing out that “3,000 special interest individuals, people with suspicious backgrounds that may suggest terrorist connections were apprehended at our southern border,” but that’s a subjective interpretation of the individuals’ backgrounds that essentially equates certain national identities with terrorism.
The government has put forward that special interest countries are those “of concern to the national security of the United States, based on several U.S. Government reports,” and Pence is essentially insisting that this concern is warranted across the board, although there isn’t even any standard definition of that concern across the U.S. government, CNN notes.
The Trump team has certainly attempted similar feats of rhetoric before via means including their repeated attempts at a Muslim ban. The president claimed that the terror threat from certain Muslim-majority countries was so great that all travel from those nations should be banned for a time — despite the fact that no perpetrators of modern terrorist attacks actually came from the targeted nations. Countries that have spawned terrorists like Pakistan and Saudi Arabia were left off the list.
In other words, we’ve already been through this nonsense with the Trump administration, but that doesn’t mean they’re letting up anytime soon. A partial government shutdown is approaching its third full week while President Donald Trump continues to refuse to approve any funding without the billions of dollars he wants for his border wall. He’s scheduled to address the nation from the Oval Office Tuesday night in the first primetime address of his presidency.
He has previously insisted that he’s willing to have the shutdown drag on for months or even years because the supposed crisis at the southern border warrants such extreme action.
Featured Image via screenshot from the video