Last week, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders claimed that 4,000 possible terrorists were detained in the previous year at the U.S.-Mexico border, and that claim has proven false.
According to a Huffington Post report, the U.S. stopped a mere six migrants as potential terrorists at the southern border of the United States. The figures come from the federal government’s Department of Customs and Border Protection. Those who were stopped at the border were on the U.S. security watch list.
A total of 41 people on Terrorist Screening Database attempted to cross the border with Mexico last year, but 35 were either legal permanent residents or U.S. citizens. The remaining six were “non-U.S. persons,” which is far lower than the 4,000 that Sanders claimed.
Right now, the partial government shutdown is in the midst of its third week, with no end in sight. Trump demanded that Congress include more than $5 billion in funding for the wall he wants to build on the southern border. Trump declared that he will not sign any budget that does not include the funding. However, Congress appears not to be inclined to accede to the president’s demands on the border wall issue.
Here's a shocker: Sarah Sanders' figures on border migrants on terror watchlist was grossly inflated, according to federal figures reported by NBC.https://t.co/R4t0UgM53u— HuffPost (@HuffPost) January 8, 2019
Interestingly, at the U.S-Canada border, 91 people on the watchlist were stopped, and of those 41 were non-U.S. citizens or residents — nearly seven times the amount at the southern border. In fact, the U.S. State Department believes that terrorists are more likely to cross the U.S.-Canada border as opposed to the U.S.-Mexico border, and yet, the president is not pushing for a wall across the northern boundary of the country.
As for the 4,000 terrorists that Sanders claimed? That figure represents the entire amount of suspected terrorists encountered throughout the whole world. That figure also appears to be inflated — the actual number of suspected terrorists attempting to gain entry to American territory in 2017 was 2,554. Out of that number, a majority — 2,170 — tried to enter the United States via air travel. Of the remaining suspicious individuals, 335 tried to enter by land — and the rest attempted to come in via waterways.
The Hill reported that Kellyanne Conway revealed that Sanders’ claim that 4,000 were stopped on the border was “an unfortunate misstatement.”
Trump will give a prime time speech tonight, which all major networks intend to air, about the border wall, the Inquisitr has reported. Ahead of the address, the president launched his re-election campaign with a dark message about the bad things that come across the border from Mexico, including “drugs, terrorists, violent criminals, and child traffickers.”
Given the controversial statements from the Trump administration regarding border security — and Sanders’ apparent mistruth about the number of would-be terrorists stopped at the southern border — tonight’s speech will likely be under heavy scrutiny.