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Fact Checking Trump’s 2020 Ad Immigration Lie

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The Trump re-election campaign aired a new television ad last night that included the claim that Trump has “cut illegal immigration in half.” You’ll be shocked to know the assertion is a flat-out lie. 

The ad fine print attributes that claim to a Fox News interview on September 10, 2019 – apparently a reference to an appearance by Ken Cuccinelli on the network, during which Cuccinelli touts the administration’s “success” in reducing the volume of border crossings from May 2019 through September 2019. 

So yes, their ad compares the Trump record to the Trump record, while relying on the less-than-neutral arbiters of Fox News and Trump acolyte and nativist true believer Ken Cuccinelli.

The ad assertion also offers a reminder of how Trump’s failed policies fueled a refugee crisis that resulted in the huge spike of vulnerable families seeking refuge and asylum in America. Trump cut off aid to Central American countries and adopted a cruel deterrence-only approach that resulted in record-high arrivals in May 2019. So the record-high that they are comparing themselves to is really just Trump’s own failures. 

The real comparison should be to the status of the border when Trump took office. According to the Department of Homeland Security’s own statistics, when Trump and the Republicans took office, they inherited from President Obama and the Democrats historically low numbers for “illegal entry” (apprehensions between ports of entry) – numbers not seen since the 1970s. The number of apprehensions between ports of entry for FY2019 was 851,508, compared to 303,916 in FY2017, a 280% increase.

According to Pili Tobar, Deputy Director of America’s Voice:

Expect more of the same as Trump’s re-election kicks into higher gear – attempting to cover up and explain away their failed immigration and border record through ridiculous spin and flat-out lies. The truth is, Republican policies helped fuel and exacerbate a border crisis that is costing lives, returning families to danger, separating children from their parents and making a travesty of due process and asylum law. Trump created a human rights crisis that shows no signs of abating and a record of failure, cruelty, and chaos that calls for accountability, not more authority nor any declaration of success.