- The Fox News anchor Shep Smith on Tuesday night immediately fact-checked President Donald Trump’s speech on border security, undermining claims Trump made during his Oval Office address.
- Trump presented his border wall as a barrier against violence by undocumented immigrants – but he left out important context that Smith pointed out.
- “Statistics show that there is less violent crime by the undocumented immigrant population than by the general population,” Smith said.
Trump cited examples of undocumented immigrants committing violent acts as he sought to garner support for a wall along the US-Mexico border.
“How much more American blood must we shed before Congress does its job?” he said. “To those who refuse to compromise in the name of border security, I would ask, imagine if it was your child, your husband, or your wife whose life was so cruelly shattered and totally broken.”
But as Smith pointed out, the president did not provide important context on this and a slew of other immigration-related issues.
“Statistics show that there is less violent crime by the undocumented immigrant population than by the general population,” Smith said.
Smith is backed up by widespread research on this topic that has found that people born in the US are more likely to commit violent crimes than undocumented immigrants. Research based on federal and state data has also found no significant causal relationship between rising immigration rates and violent crime.
Moreover, responding to Trump’s suggestion that undocumented immigrants are pouring across the border, Smith said, “The number of undocumented crossings over the southern border has been steadily down over the last 10 years, and the government reports that there is more outward traffic than inward traffic.”
Government data backs up Smith. The number of people arrested on suspicion of attempting to cross the border illegally hit a low in 2017, declining drastically from historic highs.
Trump on Tuesday night also reiterated his claim the wall would help stop the flow of drugs across the southern border, but Smith noted that “government statistics show much of the heroin actually comes not over the unguarded border but through ports of call.”
Here is Shep Smith on @FoxNews, right after Trump's address from the Oval Office, fact checking most of his misleading claims. He missed a few, but when Fox News is fact checking him like this, it's progress. pic.twitter.com/R0TQfkmwHV
— Amee Vanderpool (@girlsreallyrule) January 9, 2019
The latest Drug Enforcement Administration report on the national drug threat said that “the majority of the flow” was through privately owned vehicles “entering the United States at legal ports of entry, followed by tractor-trailers, where the heroin is co-mingled with legal goods.”
In short, many of the claims Trump made in his Oval Office address were inaccurate or misleading.
Trump’s insistence on obtaining funding for the border wall has led to a partial government shutdown that has lasted over two weeks.
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