Trump’s Nearly Fact-Free Immigration Speech

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NEW YORK–(ENEWSPF)–September 1, 2016. Yesterday in Phoenix, Arizona, Donald Trump painted a dark, dystopian picture of America and called for the deportation of every single undocumented individual and family. His speech was not only filled with fear-mongering rhetoric, it was also filled with statements that are far from factual:

Trump’s False Claim: The Pace Of Immigration Is “Over The Record”

TRUMP: “For instance, we have to listen to the concerns that working people, our forgotten working people, have over the record pace of immigration and its impact on their jobs, wages, housing, schools, tax bills and general living conditions.”

NPR Fact Check: “Trump lamented the ‘record pace’ of immigration, but between 2009 and 2014, the U.S. has actually seen more Mexican immigrants LEAVING the U.S. than coming in, a net loss of 140,000 immigrants. —Domenico Montanaro’” [NPR, 8/31/16]

Trump’s False Claim: We Have “No Idea” How Many Illegal Immigrants Are In The U.S.

TRUMP: “The truth is, the central issue is not the needs of the 11 million illegal immigrants or however many there may be — and honestly we’ve been hearing that number for years. It’s always 11 million. Our government has no idea. It could be 3 million. It could be 30 million. They have no idea what the number is.”

PolitiFact: “No credible estimate suggests the undocumented population is as high as 30 million. That statement rates Pants on Fire.” [, 9/1/16] “Trump told Cooper that there could be as many as 30 million immigrants living in the U.S. illegally. But immigration experts say that it is impossible for the number to be that high. There were 11.4 million unauthorized immigrants living in the U.S. in 2012, according to the most recent estimate from the Department of Homeland Security… The Center for Migration Studies, a think tank that studies international migration, estimated that the illegal population was about 10.9 million as of 2014. Similarly, the nonpartisan Pew Research Center, based on preliminary figures, estimated that there were 11.3 million unauthorized immigrants living in the U.S. that year… Therefore, immigration experts said, it’s not possible that there could be as many as 30 million illegal immigrants in the U.S., as Trump suggested.” [, 8/30/16]
Associated Press Fact Check: “The government actually has an idea. The Homeland Security Department estimates there are 11.4 million people in the United States illegally… Experts believe the number of people in the U.S. illegally has been steadily declining as Mexicans and others return to their home country and illegal border crossings dwindle.” [Associated Press, 9/1/16]
NPR Fact Check: “The count of undocumented immigrants is an estimate, but several estimates put it in the same ballpark — and it’s the 11 million ballpark, nowhere near 30 million.” [NPR, 8/31/16]
Trump’s False Claim: Mexico Will Pay For The Wall

TRUMP: “We will build a great wall along the southern border. And Mexico will pay for the wall. One hundred percent. They don’t know it yet, but they’re going to pay for it. And they’re great people and great leaders but they’re going to pay for the wall.”

HEADLINE: “Mexican President: I Told Trump We Wouldn’t Pay For Border Wall”
[The Hill, 8/31/16]
HEADLINE: “Trump still says Mexico will pay for wall; Mexico begs to differ” [Atlanta Journal Constitution, 9/1/16]
Trump’s False Claim: Hillary Clinton’s Immigration Plan Will Break the Bank and Allow Undocumented Immigrants To Collect Benefits Like Social Security

TRUMP: “Hillary Clinton has pledged amnesty in her first 100 days, and her plan will provide Obamacare, Social Security, and Medicare for illegal immigrants, breaking the federal budget.”

Washington Post’s Fact Checker: “The Republican presidential nominee makes a bizarre claim that undocumented immigrants will collect Social Security under a Clinton presidency. In general, people in the United States illegally are not eligible to collect Social Security benefits. They must be granted some type of lawful status — either by obtaining legal status or being granted deferred action. Even then, it’s not accurate to say they are ‘skipping the line.’ People who obtain lawful status under DACA need to work for at least 10 years, pay taxes and reach retirement age before they are eligible to receive Social Security benefits… Four Pinocchios.” [Fact Checker, Washington Post, 8/20/16]
Washington Post’s Fact Checker: “Trump says her plan would break the federal budget, but the nonpartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget found that the immigration reform component of Clinton’s plan would save the federal budget $100 billion over 10 years.” [Fact Checker, Washington Post, 9/1/16]
HEADLINE: What Would It Take for Donald Trump to Deport 11 Million and Build a Wall? “By any tally, the costs [of mass deportation] would be enormous. The American Action Forum, a conservative-leaning research group, calculated the federal outlay to be at least $400 billion, and then only if the deportations were stretched over 20 years…Running the numbers, Mr. Sternfeld said a 40-foot-tall concrete wall using a “post and panel” system that went 10 feet below the ground — to minimize tunneling — would cost at least $26 billion. The logistics would be nightmarish, including multiple concrete casting sites and temporary housing for a crew of 1,000 workers if the job were to be completed within Mr. Trump’s first four-year term. [NY Times, 5/19/16]
Trump’s False Claim: Hillary Clinton’s Has Not Answered Questions On Her Plan For Comprehensive Immigration Reform
TRUMP: “Now that you’ve heard about Hillary Clinton’s plan, about which she has not answered a single question, let me tell you about my plan.”
NPR Fact Check: “Agree with Clinton’s immigration policies or not, it’s impossible to argue she ‘has not answered a single question’ about them. She recently answered questions about immigration at a conference of black and Hispanic journalists, for example, and she has addressed questions about it in other interviews as well. — Danielle Kurtzleben’” [NPR, 8/31/16]
Trump’s False Claim: Clinton Has No Other Plan Than “Open Borders”

TRUMP: “It’s a tough one, she doesn’t know what she’s doing except open borders and let everybody come in and destroy our country by the way.”

PolitiFact: “Trump said Clinton’s immigration platform would ‘create totally open borders.’ This is a huge distortion of Clinton’s proposals… Her plan calls for protecting the border and targeting deportation to criminals and security threats… We rate this claim False.” [PolitiFact, 6/22/16]
Trump’s False Claim: Clinton Will Bring In 620,000 Syrian Refugees

TRUMP: “This includes [Hillary Clinton’s] plan to bring in 620,000 new refugees from Syria and that region over a short period of time.”
Washington Post’s Fact Checker: “This figure stems from the unverified assumption that Clinton, who has called for 55,000 additional refugees from Syria, would continue at that pace for every year of her first term, on top of the Obama administration’s proposal for 100,000 refugees for fiscal year 2017. The committee then multiples 155,000 times four years to reach 620,000 refugees. Clinton has never proposed such a ‘plan,’ so this is an invented figure. Clinton only has proposed an increase of 55,000 refugees for one year.” [Fact Checker, Washington Post, 8/16/16]
Trump’s False Claims: We Have “No Idea” Who Refugees Are

TRUMP: “And we are going to stop the tens of thousands of people coming in from Syria. We have no idea who they are, where they come from. There’s no documentation. There’s no paperwork.”

NPR: “‘Trump claimed there’s no ‘paperwork.’ But that’s not true. Lots is known about them and they already undergo rigorous screening. NPR’s Brian Naylor has reported that refugees are currently screened by several different agencies, and ‘fingerprints are taken, biographical information is collected. They are then each individually interviewed by U.S. officials trained to verify that they’re bona fide refugees. Refugees from Syria are then subject to additional screening that looks at where they came from and what caused them to flee their home….’ And all that takes an average of a year and a half to two years. — Domenico Montanaro’” [NPR, 8/31/16]