Donald Trump has claimed that border crossings are down 40 percent under his presidency as he enacts stricter immigration policies.
That is not the case, the Associated Press points out. Though Trump has bragged in stump speeches about the effects of his tougher policies, his own benchmark to measure border crossings show that they have actually increased by 20 percent from Barack Obama’s tenure in office.
“Illegal crossings actually are up 20 percent since he became president, according to the yardstick he uses to measure them – the number of Border Patrol arrests,” the report noted.
“There is no precise measure of illegal crossings because some people don’t get caught. The Trump administration uses arrests as the best gauge of whether crossings are going up or down. The Obama administration did likewise.”
The report noted that arrests climbed sharply starting in April of last year after falling to a 40-year low under Barack Obama. While the exact reason for the jump was unclear, the report noted that many people who may have been waiting to see what stance Trump would take on illegal immigration holding off crossing the border during the first few months of his presidency.
Donald Trump’s immigration policies have come under fire, including new criticism from the head of the union representing members of the U.S. Border Patrol. Brandon Judd, president of the National Border Patrol Council, said that Trump’s decision to deploy members of the National Guard to the Mexican border was a “colossal waste of resources.”
Judd said at first he was supportive of the idea of sending troops to the border.
“When I found out the National Guard was going to be on the border, I was extremely excited,” Judd said (via the Los Angeles Times). But Judd added that there has been no benefit to the troops being stationed at the border.
Both George W. Bush and Barack Obama had also deployed members of the National Guard to the border on separate occasions.
Trump has also been criticized by others who claimed that it was unnecessary and costly to deploy troops at the border at a time when border crossings remained at historic lows. The immediate benefit to these troops was also not clear given the continued number of higher crossings.
As Politico noted, the criticism from Judd is significant given that the union was a strong supporter of Donald Trump during his 2016 run for president, making its first-ever endorsement of a presidential candidate.