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The President & the Executive Branch Discuss Trump’s Speech to the Nation: Fact Checks and Background at the Political Forums; Trump’s Speech to the Nation: Fact Checks and Background “The federal government remains shut down for one reason and one ...

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Old 01-09-2019, 04:55 PM
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Default Trump’s Speech to the Nation: Fact Checks and Background

Trump’s Speech to the Nation: Fact Checks and Background


“The federal government remains shut down for one reason and one reason only: because Democrats will not fund border security.”
False.
Democrats have offered $1.3 billion in funding for border security measures like enhanced surveillance and fortified fencing. They do not support Mr. Trump’s border wall.


“Every day, Customs and Border Patrol agents encounter thousands of illegal immigrants trying to enter our country.”
This is misleading.
In November, the agency, which is actually named Customs and Border Protection (and which oversees the Border Patrol), apprehended 51,856 people trying to cross the border illegally. That’s about 1,700 per day.
The agency also deemed another 10,600 “inadmissible,” which refers to people who seek lawful entry into the United States but are barred from doing so. Together, that would be over 2,000, but “inadmissible” is not the same thing as illegal entry.

“Senator Chuck Schumer, who you will be hearing from later tonight, has repeatedly supported a physical barrier in the past, along with other Democrats.”
This needs context.
Twenty-six Senate Democrats — including Mr. Schumer — voted for a 2006 law that authorized about 700 miles of fencing along the southwest border. During the 2016 presidential campaign, Mr. Trump characterized the 2006 legislation as inadequate, dismissing it as “such a little wall, it was such a nothing wall.”

As part of his campaign, Mr. Trump promised to build a 1,000-mile concrete border wall. He sometimes calls the wall a fence, though he has also rejected suggestions that it is a fence.
“America proudly welcomes millions of lawful immigrants who enrich our society and contribute to our nation, but all Americans are hurt by uncontrolled illegal migration. It strains public resources and drives down jobs and wages.”
This needs context.
Some economists argue that immigrants drive down available jobs and wages for Americans only if they are competing for the same jobs as the domestic work force. In many cases, immigrants — legal or illegal — are seeking jobs that American citizens do not want to do.

Kevin Hassett, the White House’s top economist, argued before joining the Trump administration that immigration spurs economic growth and that the United States should double its intake of immigrants.

“Every week 300 of our citizens are killed by heroin alone, 90 percent of which floods across our southern border.”
This needs context.
Most heroin smuggled into the United States does come through the southwest border, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration’s latest National Drug Threat Assessment report. But most of it is smuggled into the United States through legal ports of entry at the southern border, not through the desert, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration’s 2018 annual drug threat assessment.

A border wall would not address what experts see as the next, more deadly phase of the opioid epidemic: fentanyl.

Fentanyl is a narcotic that is used to treat severe pain and is a key contributor the opioid crisis. It is also sometimes mixed with heroin.

Most fentanyl enters the United States from packages mailed directly from China through traditional ports of entry, according to the report, and through Canada from China. A lower-potency, lower-cost grade of fentanyl is also smuggled across the southwest border from Mexico. The fentanyl directly from China is far more lucrative for sellers because of its higher purity. The fentanyl sent through conventional mail packages has proved difficult for law enforcement to detect. Fentanyl coming from Mexico is often hidden in automobile compartments, much like conventional drug smuggling.

The president’s opioids commission reported last November that “we are losing this fight predominately through China.”

“In the last two years, ICE officers made 266,000 arrests of aliens with criminal records.”
This needs context.
In the 2017 and 2018 fiscal years, Immigration and Customs Enforcement arrested over 210,876 people with previous criminal convictions, and another 55,233 people with pending criminal charges.

But it should be noted that these criminal convictions covered a range of offenses, including many that were nonviolent. The most common charges were for traffic violations, possessing or selling drugs and immigration offenses like illegal entry.

“The wall will also be paid for, indirectly by the great new trade deal we have made with Mexico.”
False.
First, the revised North American Free Trade Agreement, known as the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, has yet to pass in Congress. Any economic benefits from the agreement, if it passes, will most likely come in the form of lower tariffs for American companies or higher wages for American workers.

This is different from Mr. Trump’s campaign promise that Mexico would finance the wall.

“The border wall would very quickly pay for itself.”
This needs context.
The president has claimed that the annual cost of illegal drugs in the United States is $500 billion. But a 2015 report by the surgeon general estimated that the annual economic impact of illicit drug use is $193 billion.

Stopping the flow of drugs across the southwest border would not entirely stem the flow of drugs across the United States. Moreover, it is not clear how reducing the cost of drug addiction would finance the wall.


sources named in article
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