President Donald Trump is once again pulling numbers out of his posterior in an effort to scare the American people into supporting his expensive border wall.
Trump’s first tweet on Sunday morning falsely declared rampant voter fraud in Texas by alleged “non-citizens” so he could push for voter ID laws. Of course, he didn’t stop his immigrant-bashing there.
His next tweet claimed that there are 25 million illegal immigrants in the country and that they cost the nation $200 billion or more a year.
We are not even into February and the cost of illegal immigration so far this year is $18,959,495,168. Cost Friday was $603,331,392. There are at least 25,772,342 illegal aliens, not the 11,000,000 that have been reported for years, in our Country. So ridiculous! DHS
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 27, 2019
But, Trump provided zero basis for his numbers, which he has repeatedly used before to argue for building a costly vanity project on the border.
In fact, the Arizona Republic debunked Trump’s figures in December using right-wing studies.
“His numbers are more than twice as high as the closest published estimate, which was made by the Federation for American Immigration Reform, a conservative research organization that advocates for less immigration, both legal and illegal,” the newspaper reported. “The group’s report, published in 2017, estimated the cost was $135 billion a year.”
In June, AZ Fact Check found significant limitations to the FAIR report in an examination of a separate claim on the cost of illegal immigration. Immigration researchers have also criticized the study’s methodology.
A critique by the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank, called the study “fatally flawed.”
The Heritage Foundation, a conservative research organization, released a report in 2013 about the costs of illegal immigration. The study found there were 3.7 million undocumented households and the costs were an estimated $54.5 billion per year — five times less than Trump’s estimate.
And the critique by the Cato Institute in 2017 gave an even lower number, with costs estimated at between $3.3 billion to $15.6 billion annually.
According to USA Today, the data we have shows that illegal immigration is at a 12-year low and that the population of undocumented immigrants is less than 11 million.
Clearly, Trump is lying about the cost and the number of undocumented immigrants in the country to try to gain support for his wall, which could cost as high as $50 billion to build and billions upon billions more in maintenance and consequential costs.
Twitter users responded by pointing out facts and mocking Trump’s hypocrisy.
Meanwhile the National debt is at $21,962,192,645,193, with much credit going to you, Donald Trump. How about taking care of these numbers if you are so concerned with overspending.
— Ed Krassenstein (@EdKrassen) January 27, 2019
I’m impressed that the president can pull these numbers out of his butt while Nancy Pelosi’s shoe is still stuck in it
— Jeff Tiedrich (@itsJeffTiedrich) January 27, 2019
The cost of you shutting down the government only to re-open it without anything gained was $6 BILLION
Just throwing that out there
— Brian Krassenstein (@krassenstein) January 27, 2019
Multiple studies show undocumented immigrants are a net boon to society. They pay taxes, and singlehandedly keep Social Security alive.
— Annoyed Norwegian (@norwegian76) January 27, 2019
It’s true that undocumented immigrants pay billions of dollars in taxes every year. They paid $13 billion into Social Security in 2013 alone.
Finally, Melania Trump came here under suspicious circumstances that Trump will never elaborate. He once said something about an “Einstein visa.” And her parents got citizenship through “chain migration.” Trump and his family are the epitome of hateful hypocrisy.
— Eugene Gu, MD (@eugenegu) January 27, 2019
The study making the 26 million claim agrees that illegal immigration is currently way down, so clearly no emergency. Also, the number is an estimate. Stating an estimate with eight-place accuracy is a very Trumpian thing to do.
— Bill Freese (@willfree) January 27, 2019
Your DHS says the level of illegal immigration is at its lowest level since 1970. Show your numbers
— Michael Murphy (@MurphyMike33076) January 27, 2019
Clearly, these numbers were made up with the sole purpose of making illegal immigration look like more of a crisis than it actually is. It’s actually not a crisis at all, just something Trump is using to advance his racist and hateful agenda so he can try to take more power for himself.
Trump’s not going to get his wall by lying, and Democrats should make sure he doesn’t get it for that very reason.
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