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AP FACT CHECK: Trump goes wall to wall on the wall

AP FACT CHECK: Trump goes wall to wall on the wall

WASHINGTON (AP) — By no means thoughts the chants, the roars, the repetition. President Donald Trump acknowledged this previous week he didn’t imply it when he advised crowds time and again that Mexico would pay — truly pay — for the wall.

Mexico can pay “indirectly,” he now says. To help that declare, he indulged in artistic accounting over the course of days marked by a prime-time speech, a visit to the border and a barrage of tweets portray dire threats from the south.

He stated the wall will “very quickly pay for itself” by decreasing the U.S. drug drawback, and pay for itself “many times over” by the advantages he predicts will accrue to the U.S. financial system from an up to date commerce cope with Canada and Mexico.

Neither of those supposed sources of wall cost dings Mexico’s treasury or imposes any value resembling what his marketing campaign proposed. Again then, he needed Mexico to hand over up to $10 billion in a single cost or pay equal prices by means of larger tariffs, visa charges charged to its residents or different punitive measures. Mexico has refused to pay something towards a U.S. wall.

A take a look at Trump’s wall-to-wall rhetoric on the wall, in every week when hundreds of federal staff missed their first paycheck from the partial shutdown and the president weighed the choice of declaring a nationwide emergency at the border:


TRUMP: “The Fake News Media keeps saying we haven’t built any NEW WALL. Below is a section just completed on the Border. Anti-climbing feature included. Very high, strong and beautiful! Also, many miles already renovated and in service!” — tweet Friday, displaying a piece of bollard wall.

THE FACTS: No new miles of barrier development have been accomplished beneath Trump. Present fencing has been changed or strengthened in a number of areas. It’s true that many miles of barrier are in service — about 650 miles or 1,050 kilometers of fencing — however that was carried out by earlier administrations.



TRUMP: “I never meant they’re going to write out a check… . Mexico is paying for the wall indirectly. And when I said Mexico will pay for the wall, in front of thousands and thousands of people, obviously they’re not going to write a check.” — remarks Thursday.

THE FACTS: A Trump marketing campaign coverage paper envisaged an specific cost from Mexico: “It’s an easy decision for Mexico: make a one-time payment of $5-10 billion,” the paper stated.

The plan outlined numerous methods for Trump to compel Mexico to pay for the wall, reminiscent of by Washington slicing off billions of dollars in remittances despatched again to Mexico by immigrants dwelling in the U.S., or by recouping the cash by way of commerce tariffs or greater visa charges. None of that has occurred.

Though his marketing campaign left open the risk that Mexico may someway contribute to the value not directly, Trump roused his crowds with the straight-ahead promise: “I will have Mexico pay for that wall.”

“Who?” he requested his supporters. “Mexico,” they shouted.

Now he’s saying his phrases weren’t meant to be taken actually.


TRUMP: “They’re paying for the wall in a great trade deal.” — remarks Thursday in Texas.

THE FACTS: Nothing in his commerce settlement with Mexico and Canada would cowl or refund the development value or require a cost from Mexico. As an alternative he’s assuming all kinds of financial advantages will come from the settlement that may’t be quantified or counted on. For instance, he has stated the deal will dissuade some U.S. corporations from shifting operations to Mexico and he credit that risk as a cost by Mexico.

The commerce deal preserves the present liberalized setting of low or no tariffs amongst the U.S., Mexico and Canada, with sure enhancements for every nation. The deal has but to be ratified in any member nation and its probabilities of profitable legislative approval will not be assured.



TRUMP: “President Obama, thank you for your great support — I have been saying this all along!” — tweet Thursday, accompanied by video of Obama talking as president in 2014.

THE FACTS: Trump’s tweet is misleading, linking to a video clip that exhibits Obama, as president, discussing “an actual humanitarian crisis on the border” — a surge of tens of hundreds of unaccompanied youngsters and youth, principally from Central America, who tried to cross from Mexico in 2014. Obama’s remarks don’t help Trump’s proposal for a border wall, which the former president has criticized, or endorse the path Trump is contemplating now: declaring a nationwide emergency which may allow him to circumvent Congress and unilaterally spend cash on wall.

As an alternative, Obama was asking Congress to approve an emergency appropriation to cope with the surge.



TRUMP: “Tonight I am speaking to you because there is a growing humanitarian and security crisis at our southern border.” — tackle to the nation Tuesday.

THE FACTS: Few would dispute that a humanitarian disaster is unfolding. A pointy improve in the variety of households at the border, principally from Central America, coupled with the Trump administration’s hard-line stance is overwhelming border assets, including to backlogs in the asylum system and leaving migrants in abysmal circumstances on the Mexican aspect.

Trump, nevertheless, has been unable to persuade Congress that the border poses a nationwide safety disaster. He has made a collection of statements falsely claiming that terrorists are pouring in from Mexico, that a wall would choke off shipments of illicit medicine and that individuals who get into the U.S. illegally commit a disproportionate share of violent crime.

The variety of border arrests — the main gauge of how many individuals try to cross illegally — is definitely one-quarter of what it was in 2000, dropping from 1.6 million then to 400,000 in 2018.



TRUMP: “Democrats will not fund border security.” — remarks Tuesday.

THE FACTS: They only gained’t fund it the means he needs. They’ve refused his demand for $5.7 billion to construct a part of a metal wall throughout the U.S.-Mexico border.

Democrats handed laws the day they took management of the Home that provided $1.three billion for border safety, together with bodily limitations and know-how. Senate Democrats have accepted comparable funding yr after yr. Many Democrats backed 2006 laws that has resulted in the development of about 650 miles (1,050 kilometers) of border barrier. Many additionally supported failed laws in 2013 that may have doubled the size of fencing and allowed immigrants dwelling in the nation illegally to apply for a provisional authorized standing in the event that they paid a $500 high quality and had no felony convictions.



TRUMP: “We lose 300 Americans a week, 90% of which comes through the Southern Border. These numbers will be DRASTICALLY REDUCED if we have a Wall!” — tweet Thursday.

TRUMP: “Our southern border is a pipeline for vast quantities of illegal drugs, including meth, heroin, cocaine and fentanyl. Every week, 300 of our citizens are killed by heroin alone, 90 percent of which floods across from our southern border.” — remarks Tuesday.

THE FACTS: What he’s making an attempt to say in the tweet Thursday is that a wall would cease most heroin from coming into the nation and drastically scale back heroin deaths, which common about 300 per week. However the Drug Enforcement Administration says “only a small percentage” of heroin seized by U.S. authorities comes throughout on territory between land ports of entry. Most of it’s smuggled by means of official border crossings.

The company says the similar is true of medicine usually. In a 2018 report, it stated the commonest trafficking method by transnational legal organizations is to cover medicine in passenger automobiles or tractor-trailers as they drive into the U.S. although land entry ports, the place they’re stopped and topic to inspection. Additionally they make use of buses, cargo trains and tunnels, the report says, citing different smuggling strategies that additionally wouldn’t be choked off by a wall.

Trump just lately stated drug smugglers don’t use ports of entry, an assertion flatly contradicted by his drug enforcement personnel.

Regardless of that disconnect, Trump went as far as to say: “The border wall would very quickly pay for itself. The cost of illegal drugs exceeds $500 billion a year, vastly more than the $5.7 billion we have requested from Congress.”



TRUMP on a border wall: “This should have been done by all of the presidents that preceded me. And they all know it. Some of them have told me that we should have done it.” — Rose Backyard information convention Jan. four.

THE FACTS: Three ex-presidents — Invoice Clinton, Jimmy Carter and George W. Bush — denied discussing the wall with Trump; the fourth, Obama, declined to reply. His workplace despatched previous feedback by Obama criticizing the wall, and the two haven’t spoken since the inauguration apart from a fast change at President George H.W. Bush’s funeral. Stated Carter: “I have not discussed the border wall with President Trump, and do not support him on the issue.”



TRUMP: “Over the years thousands of Americans have been brutally killed by those who illegally entered our country and thousands more lives will be lost if we don’t act right now.” — remarks Tuesday.

THE FACTS: His assertion that folks in the nation illegally are a particular menace to public security is at odds with plentiful analysis.

A number of research from social scientists and the libertarian assume tank Cato Institute have discovered that folks in the U.S. illegally are much less doubtless to commit crime than U.S. residents — past the crime of unlawful entry — and authorized immigrants are even much less possible to commit crime. A March research by the journal Criminology discovered “undocumented immigration does not increase violence.”



TRUMP: “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.” — remarks Tuesday.

THE FACTS: The U.S. just isn’t experiencing “uncontrolled” unlawful immigration. The talk is over whether or not the controls are robust sufficient.

As for the prices, a serious educational research in 2016 by the Nationwide Academy of Sciences, Engineering and Drugs discovered the job impacts of immigration, when measured over at the least 10 years, are very small. It discovered immigration — authorized and unlawful — is an general profit to long-term financial progress.

Some proof means that expert immigrants increase wages. Native-born People with no high-school diploma are almost definitely to endure.

The academy research stated estimating fiscal impacts of immigration is complicated. Younger and previous immigrants have a tendency to drain authorities assets whereas working-age immigrants contribute.



TRUMP: “We have terrorists coming through the southern border because they find that’s probably the easiest place to come through. They drive right in and they make a left.” — Rose Backyard information convention Jan. four.

SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, White Home press secretary: “We know that roughly, nearly 4,000 known or suspected terrorists come into our country illegally, and we know that our most vulnerable point of entry is at our southern border.” — “Fox News Sunday” Jan. 6.

THE FACTS: In the event that they’re driving “right in” by means of border crossings, no wall would cease them. However as to the broader level, U.S. officers have produced no proof of a terrorist inflow from Mexico.

Trump and a few of his aides have misrepresented statistics on foreigners who have been stopped globally by Customs and Border Safety as a result of they have been on a watch listing. They’ve advised or plainly said that they have been stopped coming from Mexico.

Sanders acknowledged later in the week: “I should have said 4,000 at all points of entry, not just at the southern border.”

Regardless of Trump’s portrayal of Mexico as a teeming portal for terrorists, the State Division issued a report in September discovering “no credible evidence indicating that international terrorist groups have established bases in Mexico, worked with Mexican drug cartels or sent operatives via Mexico into the United States.”

It went on: “The U.S. southern border remains vulnerable to potential terrorist transit, although terrorist groups likely seek other means of trying to enter the United States.”


Related Press writers Colleen Lengthy, Jill Colvin, Catherine Lucey, Zeke Miller and Kevin Freking in Washington and Elliot Spagat in San Diego contributed to this report.


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