Trump’s lies about the “humanitarian crisis” at the southern border began in his first sentence and rolled freely throughout his address to the nation about the need for a wall, or maybe it’s a five billion dollar fence, across the southern border.
He began by insisting that the southern border is in crisis despite the fact that undocumented immigrant crossings at the border are at a 20-year low. Arrests, in fact, are at a 46-year low.
He didn’t stop there. In his very next sentences, he said both that border agents “encounter thousands of illegal immigrants trying to enter our country” even though actual reports put the number at hundreds, not thousands, and then said that 90 percent of the heroin that comes into the United States is coming across the border at vulnerable spots, although The Washington Post notes that “most of the drugs come through legal entry points and wouldn’t be stopped by the border wall that he is demanding as the centerpiece of his showdown with Democrats.”
This is the conclusion of Trump's own Drug Enforcement Agency, in their 2018 threat assessment, which says that "only a small percentage of heroin" was seized along the land border, while "the majority of the flow…is through legal ports of entry" pic.twitter.com/NDj7JJ0O80
— Robert Maguire (@RobertMaguire_) January 8, 2019
Trump then fear-mongered around crime statistics, painting undocumented immigrants as wild killers set to murder us all. “Thousands of Americans have been brutally killed,” he claimed, “and thousands more lives will be lost if we don’t act right now.” Trump cited specific crime statistics numbers around illegal immigrants and crime, ignoring the nature of the crimes that a smaller number of immigrants are arrested for than American citizens, such as “a mix of serious and nonviolent offenses such as immigration violations. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement reports yearly arrest totals without breaking down the type of offense, which could be anything from homicide to a DUI to illegal entry.”
"His national emergency is completely made up. If you look at the facts, violent crime is down across the United States … border crossings are down. The President's going to lose in court." @tedlieu on Trump's threat to declare a natl emergency over the border wall. #Hardball pic.twitter.com/A8VyuKDYa3
— Hardball (@hardball) January 8, 2019
Finally, Trump claimed that 20,000 migrant children were brought into the country last month, who were used as “human pawns” by sex traffickers and coyotes. This is far removed from the truth. In fact, the number of children brought into the country is not tracked unless the child is unaccompanied. The 20,000 number comes from the number of family units who came into the country, many of whom came legally seeking asylum.
‘Trump describes this as children being smuggled in by coyotes or gangs, but border officials screen for false claims of parentage. To imply as Trump does that a child’s mother, father or legal guardian is or hired a smuggler, coyote or gang member in all of these cases is wrong.’
Tonight, while #Trump gets free airtime for propaganda on the "humanitarian & national security crisis" at the border, CHILDREN sit in cold cages in inhumane conditions. Two children died in ICE custody last month after 10+ years with no such deaths. There's blood on your hands.
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) January 8, 2019
For more of Trump’s false, fear-mongering speech, see below:
Featured image screenshot via YouTube