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Fact-checking Trump's speech to end the shutdown



"The requests we have made before Congress are vital to ending the humanitarian and security crisis on our southern border."

Trump has returned to the line-up of the border wall. This statement makes two claims: that's a security crisis and a humanitarian one at the border. Here's what the numbers show.

In terms of volume, border apprehensions have been compared with 2017 but are still well shy of previous years, when arrests are topped more than a million. In the early to mid-2000s, there were more than 100,000 migrants were appealing illegally crossing the southern border.

In terms of a humanitarian crisis, the term has been used to refer to the US. In December, the deaths of two undocumented children in US custody attracted scrutiny on the conditions.

In recent years there has been a shift in the population that's approaching the US-Mexico border ̵
1; from single families to children, many of whom are seeking asylum. In December, US Border Patrol arrested 27,518 family members, up nearly 240% from the previous December, which had 8,120 arrests. They also come from the Northern Triangle (Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras).

Violence, drought and poor economic conditions in these countries are among the reasons that some have decided to make the journey.

In 2016, nearly half of the people apprehended at the US-Mexico border came from three countries, compared with roughly 10% in 2010, according to Homeland Security Department data.

Existing barriers

"Trump is correct to say that."

Trump is correct to say that physical barriers cover 654 miles of the southern border, which stretches for nearly 2,000 miles. Here's a breakdown of the two types of fencing that exist:

What's known as vehicle fencing covers 280 miles. This is fencing that's low to the ground. It would stop a car, but people can easily step over it. Much of this fencing exists in sparsely populated areas where it would be dangerous for people to travel.

What's known as pedestrian fencing covers some 374 miles.

Construction of the federally-funded border fence began as a 14-mile stretch near San Diego. Construction started during George H.W. Bush's presidency and continued into Bill Clinton's first term. The Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigration Responsibility Act, which was signed by Clinton in 1996, authorized the fortification of that fencing.

Then, in 2006, George W. Bush signed the Secure Fence Act, authorizing the construction of some 700 miles of fencing along the US Mexico border. Since 2007, Customs and Border Protection says, it's spent about $ 2.3 billion on fencing and related infrastructure along the border.

It's true that the Border Patrol has identified areas where a wall is useful – but it does not cover the entire southern border and would like to use other security measures, like enhanced technology.

Strained immigration courts

"Our backlog in the immigration courts is now more than 800,000 cases that have been hearing back over the last couple of years. "

This is true. The nation's immigration courts have been faced with a massive backlog. The number of pending cases stands at 809,041, according to Syracuse University's Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, which tracks immigration court data.
The government shutdown has made worse, as only the cases are detained dockets immigration detention) were allowed to proceed. A report released by the Transactional Records Clearinghouse earlier this month found that an estimated 42,726 immigration court hearings had been canceled as a result of the shutdown. It's unclear when they'll be rescheduled.

Keeping drugs out

"I believe drugs, large percentages of which come through the southern border wants to believe. "

It's important to note upfront that the majority of hard narcotics seized by Customs and Border Protection come through ports of entry , CBP and the Drug Enforcement Administration.

For instance, in the fiscal year of 2018 CBP seized 67,292 pounds of methamphetamine at 10,382 pounds by border patrol agents

It's unclear what "border security" measures Trump is talking about here, but if they don The SeaWorld Splash Trump Proposes.

A wall would cut crime

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As a reason to build the wall, Trump has repeatedly cited crimes committed by undoc

A 2018 study by the libertarian Cato Institute, which reviewed criminal conviction data from the Texas Department of Public Safety, found that immigrants – legal or illegal – are less likely than native-born Americans to be convicted of crimes. Throughout the country, there is generally a decrease in the number of violent crimes, according to the FBI.
Other studies have found that murder, rape, robbery and aggravated assault have not gone along with the increase in undocumented immigration since 1990, that undocumented immigrants do not contribute to increase in drug overdoses and deaths, and that young, undocumented immigrants engage in less Crime Than Their American or Legal Immigrant Peers.

Democrats and the Wall

"Most of the Democrats in Congress have voted in the past for bills that include walls and physical barriers powerful fences. "

There are two pieces of major legislation over the past decade. Here's how Democrats voted:
The 2006 Securely Fence Act, which is titled "Trump. Back then, 26 Senates Democrats voted in favor of it while 17 voted against.

In 2013, 54 Democratic senators supported a commission on immigration bill that included doubling the existing fencing along the southern border.

While some Democrats have supported Legislation involving the construction of physical barriers along the southern border, it's unclear if most have.

Concrete wall

"We do not need 2,000 miles of concrete wall from sea to shiny sea." We never did that. "

CNN could not find an instance where Trump had a 2,000-mile concrete wall from sea to sea. In his campaign launch in 2015, Trump did say he would "build a great, great wall on our southern border." And I will have Mexico pay for that wall, "but the language is rather imprecise and it's unclear if he meant the wall would

The President has changed his opinion on concrete vs. steel slat and other materials. In a 2015 campaign speech, he said, "I'll tell you what it's going to be, and it's going to be made of hardened concrete, and it's going to be made out of rebar and steel. "

In an interview last month with the Los Angeles Times, former White House chief of staff John Kelly said the concept of a concrete wall had been" early on in the administration where they are needed. " Trump rebutted this assertion, however, tweeting in late December that "An all concrete wall was NEVER ABANDONED, which has been reported by the media Makes sense to me! "

CNN's Geneva Sands and Catherine E. Shoichet contributed to this report.


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