Ali Velshi debunks Trump's lies about a "national security crisis" on the southern border
Velshi: "I'd like" Trump "to show us where he got those numbers because as far as we can tell, that's not true."
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From the January 8 edition of MSNBC Live with Ali Velshi:
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ALI VELSHI (HOST): Tonight the president is going to deliver an Oval Office address about what he describes as a humanitarian and national security crisis at the southern border. You are likely going to hear, as Katy pointed out, three main points. But for fact's sake, let's see if they are true. The first claim is that terrorists come across the border. The president and his aides continue to say that terrorists use the southern border to enter the country undetected. Well, a briefing by the Homeland Security secretary to senior lawmakers and released by the White House included this particular slide. Take a look at these numbers. That's the best part about it. If you look, everything on the slide talks about "the southern border." Alright, "the southern border." Except this one: "known or suspected terrorists." Sandwiched in between these numbers, 3,755 -- you'll have heard that number from the president, you'll have heard that number from Kirstjen Nielsen. But look at this, "known or suspected terrorists prevented from traveling to or entering the United States" by DHS, full year '17. No "southern border" there. That's because nowhere near that number of people were stopped at the southern border according to data provided to Congress last May by the Department of Homeland Security and obtained by NBC news.
VELSHI: And then there's this claim.
DONALD TRUMP (PRESIDENT, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA): You know, I've heard numbers as high as $275 billion we lose on illegal immigration.
VELSHI: I've heard numbers, I've heard all sorts of numbers. The president likes to say that. Well, I'd like him to show us where he got those numbers because as far as we can tell, that's not true. A study by the conservative think tank, The Heritage Foundation, found that the cost was closer to $54 billion.
VELSHI: And then there's the entire premise of the president's address, that immigrants are overrunning the southern border. According to DHS data, more than 415,000 people were stopped at the southern border in the government's fiscal year 2017 -- 415,000. OK, remember that. The same data, the same year, more than 700,000 people who legally visited the United States overstayed their visas. And guess who makes up the biggest portion of this. Canadians. Canadians make the largest group of visa overstays in the United States. Again, the U.S. government's own data shows us our southern border is in fact not the primary source of unlawful immigrants into the United States.