7 of the Top Immigration Lies From the Trump Administration

This column contains corrections.

This evening, President Donald Trump will deliver his annual State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress. In last year’s address, Trump spent more time talking about immigration than any other issue, and he used the speech to attack immigrants by spreading lies and instilling fear in the American people. Given the horrific events of the past two months—including the longest-ever partial government shutdown over an unnecessary and unpopular border wall, the deaths of two children in Border Patrol custody, the tear-gassing of asylum seekers at the border, and more—he will undoubtedly come back to the same themes in this year’s State of the Union address.

Here are 7 of the top immigration lies that President Trump and his administration have spread since taking office:

  1. “[T]here is a growing humanitarian and security crisis at our southern border.” – Donald Trump

Data from U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) show that apprehensions at the southern border have declined more than 75 percent since 2000. The individuals still arriving at the border are largely asylum seekers fleeing violence in Central America—most of whom are children and families. So while President Trump is correct that there is a humanitarian situation at the border, it is not a security crisis. As such, the situation requires not the heavy-handed response the administration has proposed but instead a humanitarian response that takes into account the need to protect children and families arriving at the border, allows individuals to exercise their legal right to apply for asylum, and lives up to the values of freedom and refuge upon which America was founded.

  1. “Our southern border is a pipeline for vast quantities of illegal drugs including meth, heroin, cocaine, and fentanyl.” – Donald Trump

The president insists that a border wall is needed to stop the entry of dangerous drugs along the southern border. However, the Justice Department’s Drug Enforcement Administration has concluded that most drug trafficking occurs through ports of entry into the United States, not in between them. CBP drug seizure dataconfirm this finding. Additionally, the purest form of fentanyl, an extremely strong opioid, is often transported into the United States through the mail. A wall would do little to stop this. In an effort to halt the trafficking of these dangerous drugs into the country, the Democratic House members appointed to the conference committee currently considering the fiscal year 2019 Homeland Security appropriations bill have proposed far more effective solutions: investing in new screening equipment “at the land ports of entry” and purchasing “new equipment at mail processing facilities.”

  1. “We love the Dreamers. We think the Dreamers are terrific.” – Donald Trump

The Trump administration terminated the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program in September 2017, throwing the lives of hundreds of thousands of recipients into chaos. Since then, President Trump has walked away from multiple compromises and has repeatedly used Dreamers as bargaining chips to try to put forth his anti-immigrant legislative agenda, which includes cutting legal immigration, gutting family reunification, criminalizing undocumented immigrants, and eliminating protections for asylum seekers and children fleeing persecution and torture—all while stopping short of actually delivering real protections for Dreamers.


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