While speaking at a rally in Harrisburg over the weekend, rather than attending the high class White House Correspondents Dinner, President Trump reiterated the stunning drop in illegal immigration at America’s southern border since he won the election last year.
Responding to chants from the crowd of “build the wall, build the wall”, Trump reinforced his stance on border security by saying, “We have done so well at the border, a lot of people are saying, wow, maybe the president doesn’t need the wall. We need the wall to stop the drugs and human trafficking. We need the wall. In just 100 days, we have taken historic steps to secure our border, imposed needed immigration control like you have never seen before” said President Trump.
Trump continued by touting the extraordinary decrease in illegal immigrants crossing the southern border since election day.
“Since my election, we have already achieved an unprecedented 73 percent reduction in illegal crossing on our southern border. The greatest reduction in the history of our country, and we just started. The world is getting the message, if you try to illegally enter the United States, you will be caught, detained, deported, or put in prison, and it will happen.”
After Trump made that statement, an audience member shouted “build it”, a reference to the southern border wall.
Even the mainstream media couldn’t argue with Trump’s claims of a dramatic decrease in illegal immigration since becoming president, as Politifact fact-checked his statements and found that historical data from the Border Patrol backs up his claims.
“People want the border wall … They want to see the wall, they want to see security. Now, it just came out that they’re 73 percent down. … That’s a tremendous achievement. … Look at this, in 100 days, that down to the lowest in 17 years and it’s going lower,” Trump said in the April 21 interview, which we fact-checked. Trump’s wording did not specify what was the lowest in 17 years, but similar comments made by others in his administration indicate he was referring to apprehensions at the southwest border by border patrol agents. Historical data from Border Patrol show that Trump’s claim is accurate.
Politifact, a notoriously left-leaning news website that consistently shows bias towards conservatives, also fact-checked a statement made by Donald Trump in March where he stated that illegal immigration on the southern border is down by 61% since election day.
“We will build, that’s right, a great, great border wall … And we will stop the drugs that are pouring into our country and poisoning our youth and plenty of others. We’re going to stop the drugs,” Trump said March 20. “A lot of them are coming in from the southern border. Since the day of my election, we’ve already cut illegal immigration at the southern border by 61 percent, think of that, 61 percent, and we haven’t started.”
Trump has boasted about a 40 percent decline in illegal immigration in his first month in office. We rated that Mostly True. He is now extending the comparison to November to show even more significant cuts.
Border patrol apprehensions at the U.S.-Mexico border declined 60 percent from November 2016 to February 2017, but immigration experts caution against assuming that declines have been a sole result of Trump’s policies.
Oddly enough, even when Trump’s statements are completely accurate you will be hard pressed to find anything greater than a “mostly true” rating from Politifact or similar liberal news websites claiming to be unbiased fact-checkers.
Politifact was sure to add in a statement cautioning against correlating the drop in illegal immigration to Trump, but after over a year of Donald Trump taking a hard stance on deportation of criminal aliens and touting the building of a border wall, it’s only logical to assume the two are related.
The only caution that should be taken from this story should be on the part of conservatives, as any advocates for a strong border and legal immigration must stay vigilant for claims from politicians that a wall won’t be needed since illegal immigration is dropping on it’s own. Since the decrease is solely related to having a strong president who is taking action to uphold immigration law, the numbers of illegal immigrants entering the country could easily skyrocket once Trump is no longer in office. However, a wall will provide years of continuing security at America’s southern border while also guarding against drug traffickers.
Look out for politicians, both Republicans and Democrats, pushing against Trump’s efforts to build the border wall as we get closer to the actual construction date. Politicians, many of who take in millions in campaign donations from corporations that benefit from cheap labor, will fight tooth and nail against any attempt to secure the border and make America safer for average citizens.
View Trump’s full speech in Harrisburg on April 29th below: