President Trump campaigned on taking a hard line stance against illegal immigration.
And boy oh boy has he already delivered so far! President Trump claimed in a recent speech that immigration was down 64% just this year since he took office, AND that illegal immigration is now at its lowest level in 17 years.
PolitiFact investigated and found the claim to be true! Take a look:
“People want the border wall … They want to see the wall, they want to see security. Now, it just came out that they’re 73 percent down. … That’s a tremendous achievement. … Look at this, in 100 days, that down to the lowest in 17 years and it’s going lower,” Trump said in the April 21 interview, which we fact-checked.
Trump’s wording did not specify what was the lowest in 17 years, but similarcomments made by others in his administration indicate he was referring to apprehensions at the southwest border by border patrol agents. Historical data from Border Patrol show that Trump’s claim is accurate.
Trump has used different timeframes to make a case that fewer people are attempting to cross into the United States illegally.
He’s looked at year-over-year March border apprehension data to say there’s been a 64 percent decline; compared February 2017 numbers to the election month, November 2016 to say it’s gone down 61 percent; and said there was a 40 percentdecline from January, the month he was inaugurated, to February.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection data show that in March 2017 agents made 12,193 apprehensions at the U.S.-Mexico border. It is the lowest number in at least 17 years, according to monthly southwest border apprehension numbers since fiscal year 2000.
Experts have told us that Trump’s rhetoric has played a role in deterring illegal immigration, perhaps more so than his newly issued policies, which may take longer to implement on the ground.
“The recent dip in apprehensions likely does signify a trend, in particular as apprehensions typically rise in March and early spring,” said Michelle Mittelstadt, spokeswoman for Migration Policy Institute, a nonpartisan think tank that researches migration.
Trump said illegal immigration on the U.S.-Mexico border is “the lowest in 17 years.”
Border Patrol data support Trump’s claim. In March, Border Patrol recorded 12,193 apprehensions at the southwest border, the lowest in at least 17 years.
It’s worth noting that apprehension rates have been declining since the recession, and significantly so since their peak of 1.6 million in 2000.
Overall, we rate Trump’s claim True.
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