On Tuesday, President Donald Trump made a national address to the public though a televised presentation from the Oval Office. It was a nine-minute speech where he made a case for his border wall, insisting it needed to be built to ensure the United States’ safety from illegal immigration. However, several of the claims he made and statistics he presented were misleading or even wholly inaccurate.

During his speech, Trump claimed the country is suffering from “a growing humanitarian and security crisis at our southern border,” adding how Customs and Border Patrol agents “encounter thousands of illegal immigrants trying to enter our country” on a daily basis. According the CBP’s website, however, they only arrested 396,579 individuals at the border during the fiscal 2018 year and 303,916 the prior year. It’s, on average, a noticeable drop from the years when Trump’s predecessors were in the White House.

Trump also contested that the U.S.-Mexico border “is a pipeline for vast quantities of illegal drugs, including meth, heroin, cocaine and fentanyl.” While the border can be an outlet for drugs to enter the United States, a 2018 report by the Drug Enforcement Administration establishes the majority of them are smuggled into the country through legal entryway points.


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The report also adds how only a “small percentage of all heroin seized by CBP along the land border was between Ports of Entry.” Moreover, another report from the DEA dating back to 2015 states how Mexican cartels transport their drugs over the border in vehicles, hiding them in “hidden compartments” or mixing them in with legal substances.

“Over the years, thousands of Americans have been brutally killed by those who illegally entered our country,” Trump boldly claimed. However, it’s a misleading statistic, owing to how immigrants are less prone to committing crimes than those who were born in the country. The Cato Institute published a study in June last year claiming that the odds in legal immigrants getting incarcerated were one-in-five in comparison to native-born citizens, with illegal immigrants being about half as likely.

In an effort to appear bipartisan, Trump mentioned the wall would now be composed of steel rather than concrete as a concession to Democrats. Shortly thereafter, Trump mentioned how Mexico will in fact pay for the wall, albeit indirectly thanks to a new trade deal. Both of these statements are incorrect. Democrats are united in their opposition to the wall, the substance it’s made out of is irrelevant. Likewise, Mexico has refused to fund the wall despite Trump’s frequent presidential campaign promise that they would, and the trade deal Trump referenced has yet to be approved by Congress. And even if it gets approved, companies and private individuals would reap the economic benefits, not the Treasury.

Speaking of Democrats, Trump claimed Minority Leader Chuck Schumer supported a wall in the past until it became a focal point for Trump. This isn’t a fair claim, as although the senator signed the 2006 Secure Fence Act, it doesn’t compose something as grandiose as the border wall Trump is proposing. Finally, Trump said, “The federal government remains shut down for one reason and one reason only: because Democrats will not fund border security.” While the Democrats have refused Trump’s request for $5.7 billion, they have strongly supported bills to reopen the government.

Trump’s entire speech can be seen below:

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