12.13.18

From Appropriations Vice Chair Patrick Leahy: FACT CHECKING Pres. Trump’s Manufactured Crisis Over Funding His Proposed Wall

Fact Checking President Trump’s Manufactured Crisis

With illegal border crossings declining for years, and no true crisis to point to, President Trump has spun a manufactured crisis to justify his ineffective and costly border wall.  The President has relatedly made false allegations about the volume of border crossings and the threat posed by these migrants who in many cases are fleeing violence.  Below are just a few examples from the last week:

  • #FALSE: President Trump’s repeated claim that we have a crisis-level surge of illegal immigration at our southern border.
  • #FACT: At the end of 2017, arrests of people attempting to illegally enter the U.S. dropped to the lowest level since 1971. Between 2000 & 2018, border apprehensions fell sharply from roughly 1.6 million in fiscal year 2000 to approximately 400,000 in fiscal year 2018 – that's a 75 percent drop.
  • #FALSE: Pres. Trump’s claim that we recently “captured 10 terrorists” at the southern border over a “very short period of time.”
  • #FACT: Approximately 10 people with suspected terrorist ties are prevented from traveling to the U.S. every day “by air, sea, or land.” That does NOT mean they’re entering the southern border. And a wall along our southern border does not stop a potential terrorist from flying into an airport. 
  • #FACT: A staunchly conservative organization that advocates for restricting immigration, the Center for Immigration Studies, issued a report concluding only 15 suspected terrorists have been apprehended at the U.S.-Mexico border SINCE 2001.
  • #FALSE: President Trump’s repeated claim that wall construction is under budget, and that additional funding for the wall is an urgent need.
  • #FACT:  Border fencing construction is not “under budget.” The largest stretch of fencing that Congress has funded, a 25 mile barrier in the Rio Grande Valley, has ballooned in cost, from $445 to $787 million – a price tag of $31.5 million per mile for taxpayers.
  • #FACT: The Trump Administration has only spent 6 percent – SIX PERCENT – of the $1.7 billion the Congress has appropriated over the last two years to build or replace fencing on the southern border. That does not sound like an urgent need for additional billions in funding.

If there were an “urgent need” to construct a wall, President Trump would not have to rely on so many blatant falsehoods. His obsession with a wall is nothing more than a desperate attempt to please his base and protect his ego. Senate Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy’s Full Statement Is Available HERE.

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