Fact Checking the Lies About National Emergency

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Trump announced that he will speak from the Oval Office about immigration and the crisis at the border on Tuesday night. If you listen, expect more lies.  

““I expect the president to lie to the American people,” House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) said. “Why do I expect this? Because he has been lying to the American people.”

On Friday, Trump said that “some” former presidents had told him they wished they had built a border wall. Nope.

“There are only five ex-presidents that could conceivably have told Trump such a thing — Jimmy Carter, the recently deceased George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama. But Carter, Obama, and Clinton are all Democrats who have been publicly critical of Trump, and the Bush family, despite being Republicans, aren’t close with Trump and haven’t expressed support for a wall.”

All of the living ex-presidents have said they never had such a conversation with Trump.

“And not only did George HW Bush not visit the White House after Trump took office, but he described him as a “blowhard” and said “I don’t like him” in a book that was published in late 2017.

The administration’s flagrant and unabashed lies about immigrants and immigration in the past few days are mind-boggling.

Start with last Friday’s claim by White House press secretary Sarah Sanders that Customs and Border Protection (CBP) stopped nearly 4,000 known or suspected terrorists from crossing the southern border in fiscal year 2018, which ended September 30. NBC reported Monday that according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, they “ encountered only six immigrants on the U.S-Mexico border in the first half of fiscal year 2018 whose names were on a federal government list of known or suspected terrorists. Six. Not four thousand.

The Washington Post noted that 41 non-Americans on the watch list were stopped on the Canadian border during the same time frame.

Even these very small numbers do not represent actual terrorists—only people whose names are on the watch list. In fact, reports NBC,

“According to Justice Department public records and two former counterterrorism officials, no immigrant has been arrested at the southwest border on terrorism charges in recent years.”

None. Not a single one.

The libertarian, and generally conservative, Cato Institute has published extensive research on immigration over the past year. They confirm that, “The terrorist threat from asylum-seekers and illegal immigrants has been very low since 1975 and not a single terrorist from Mexico or Central America has entered during that time.”

The Trump administration tries over and over to paint a picture of immigrants threatening to overrun the United States. That’s a lie, too.

Unauthorized border crossings are way down, and have been for years. More Central American families are coming to the border, but the overall numbers are still down because the number of Mexican immigrants is way, way down.

Immigrants at the southern border do not pose a threat to the United States. They are not a national emergency. The national emergency is in Washington, in an administration that cannot tell lies from facts and does not care.


About Mary Turck

News Day, written by Mary Turck, analyzes, summarizes, links to, and comments on reports from news media around the world, with particular attention to immigration, education, and journalism. Fragments, also written by Mary Turck, has fiction, poetry and some creative non-fiction. Mary Turck edited TC Daily Planet, www.tcdailyplanet.net, from 2007-2014, and edited the award-winning Connection to the Americas and AMERICAS.ORG, in its pre-2008 version. She is also a recovering attorney and the author of many books for young people (and a few for adults), mostly focusing on historical and social issues.
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