IMMIGRATION

Claim 1: “The so called “cages” used at detention facilities were first built and used under the Obama Administration… And when it comes to family separation, it was the TRUMP administration that put an end to this practice, which was also already in place before the President Trump took office.”

In 2018, Trump announced his zero-tolerance policy, which called for the criminal prosecution of anyone who illegally entered the United States. Thousands of children were separated from adult family members as a result of the policy. Whereas the Obama Administration separated families only under extreme circumstances (when the adults had prior criminal convictions or were seen as threats to their children), Trump saw the separation of families as a deterrent, and therefore charged as many adults as possible and then jailed them to force family separation. Although President Obama did construct detention centers for migrants, conditions in these centers have deteriorated significantly under Trump and migrants have suffered horrific abuses ranging from insufficient medical care to child sex abuse.

Claim 2: “Like most of us, President Trump’s ancestors were immigrants, and he is married to our amazing First Lady who is herself an immigrant. So let’s be clear that President Trump is opposed to ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION.”

If Trump claims to only oppose illegal immigration, why has he taken such drastic measures to impede the legal immigration process? In October, President Trump announced plans to reject visa applicants who cannot prove that they can pay for healthcare. The administration also had plans to establish a test to determine whether an immigrant applying to enter the U.S. would end up relying on public benefits -- a rule that courts blocked. He also proposed a plan to end family-based or chain immigration, signed a discriminatory executive order banning the entry of immigrants and refugees from seven Muslim-majority countries, and denied asylum to migrants on the border who had traveled through other countries in Central America without seeking asylum or protection there -- all moves to oppose what was formerly considered legal immigration.

Claim 3: "Walls work." 

The vast majority of illegal immigrants enter the country legally and overstay their visas. A border wall will do absolutely nothing to stop them. In 2017, roughly 700,000 travelers to the United States overstayed their visas. During that same year, the Southern Border saw only 300,000 apprehensions (the lowest number since 1971). There are a couple things that a wall WILL do: cost Americans nearly $21.6 billion in the coming years and exacerbate an environmental crisis.

Claim 4: "The Trump Administration has actually deported fewer overall people than President Obama did in the same amount of time.”

Trump's decrease in deportations doesn't indicate progressive reform, just inefficiency. Their intention has not been to reduce deportations, as is evidenced by the 419,000 deportation proceedings they initiated between October 2018 and the end of September 2019 (which dramatically exceeds the number of active proceedings at any point in the last quarter century). Overall, the Trump administration has made the immigration system more inhumane, increasing ICE activity through “interior removals” (cases in which ICE arrests migrants outside of border zones), family separations and immigrant detentions.

YaleDems.jpg