Washington, D.C. — President Donald Trump will undoubtedly return to his favorite theme of spreading lies to attack immigrants in tonight’s State of the Union address. CAP’s new column debunks seven of the administration’s immigration lies. The column makes the following points:
- There is a humanitarian emergency, not a border security crisis, at the U.S.-Mexico border: Border apprehensions have declined by more than 75 percent since 2000, and the individuals still arriving at the border are largely children and families seeking asylum. If anything, there is a humanitarian emergency, not a border security crisis.
- A border wall would do little to stop the entry of illegal drugs along the southern border: Most drug trafficking occurs through ports of entry into the United States and often through the mail. Investing in new screening equipment at ports of entry and mail processing facilities would be far more effective.
- Trump said he loves Dreamers, but he has worked against real protections: The Trump administration terminated the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. The president walked away from multiple compromises and has repeatedly used Dreamers as bargaining chips for his anti-immigrant legislative agenda. Contrary to his claim, Trump never “loved Dreamers.”
- The Trump administration stretched the truth to terminate TPS: The Trump administration ignored the recommendations of career staff when it terminated the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) designations for Honduras, El Salvador, Haiti, Nicaragua, Nepal, and Sudan—among other countries. It also disregarded then-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s concerns about deteriorating conditions in Central America.
- Immigrants are not criminals: Immigrants do not increase local crime rates and are less likely to be convicted of crime than native-born Americans. Immigrants are also less likely to be incarcerated overall and have lower rates of incarceration when compared to native-born Americans.
- Immigrants do show up for their court dates: Nearly three-quarters of all immigrants appear at their hearings, including nearly 90 percent of those seeking asylum. The administration could ensure appearance at hearings by providing counsel. In fact, one study found that immigrants with counsel are 15 times more likely to apply for relief and 5 times more likely to receive it, while another found that detained immigrants are 10-and-a-half times more likely to succeed in court.
- Mexico is not paying for the wall: The president’s biggest lie thus far is that Mexico will pay for the border wall. He even shut down the government over a $5.7 billion down payment on the wall. The reality is that taxpayers will foot the bill and landowners on the border are likely to lose their property to eminent domain.
“The president has consistently peddled an anti-immigrant narrative built on lies and misinformation,” said Laura Muñoz Lopez, special assistant for Immigration Policy at the Center for American Progress. As the American people listen to President Trump’s speech, they should remember that contrary to what the president peddles as the truth, poll after poll shows that the American public supports immigrants and immigration reform and rejects the Trump administration’s lies and nativist agenda.”
Click here to read “7 of the Top Immigration Lies from the Trump Administration” by Laura Muñoz Lopez.
- Immigration Priorities in the 116th Congress by Tom Jawetz
- What Should and Should Not Be in Any Homeland Security Funding Deal by Tom Jawetz, Lia Parada, and Philip E. Wolgin
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