President Donald Trump recently made several controversial and unsubstantiated claims about immigration. He spoke to several reporters on Tuesday, then taking to Twitter to unleash a barrage of misleading and incorrect information related to immigration policy. The reaction to his statements was swift: Anti-immigration activists latched on to his claims while reporters, policymakers, immigration activists and immigrants repeatedly presented evidence to refute his falsehoods.
In the past, the president has made several other statements that have proven misleading at best and outright fabrications at worst. Let’s take a closer look at his recent statements and fact-check them with the truth.
Claim: The United States will send its military to guard the border.
The president claimed that the U.S.-Mexico border is not secure and will be guarded by the military until a wall is built. In the past, the U.S. Army and the National Guard have indeed been sent to the border, usually during large surges in migration. But the Trump administration has not sent military forces to defend the border, and it does not currently have any detailed plan to do so. Trump may not ever be able to use the military for immigration enforcement: He would have to receive permission from Congress.
Claim:President Obama created a “catch and release” law that allows immigrants to avoid court.
President Obama has never made a law that allows immigrants to be caught, released and avoid court. In 2008, President Obama signed the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act, which protects vulnerable immigrant children. It allows immigrants who were arrested but have children to temporarily return home to care for their families. The law does not allow these immigrants to evade the court system. Trump’s misrepresented the facts of this law in his recent statements.
Claim: There is a massive influx of drugs and immigrants into the United States, and the country is being stolen by immigrants.
On Monday, President Trump tweeted that there is a “massive inflow of Drugs and People,” and that “our country is being stolen.” This is patently false. Today’s immigration levels are much lower than they were in the years preceding Donald Trump’s presidency. Immigrants are not to blame for the country’s illegal drugs. And immigrants are not “stealing” the country—they are building lives, raising families and contributing to the U.S. economy.