Fact Check: Trump Claims ‘America’s Borders Are More Secure than Ever Before’

President Donald Trump smiles after autographing a section of the border wall during a tour, Tuesday, June 23, 2020, in San Luis, Ariz. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
AP Photo/Evan Vucci

CLAIM: President Donald Trump said Thursday during the final night of the Republican National Convention (RNC), “Today, America’s borders are more secure than ever before.”

VERDICT: True. A barrier of border agents, regulatory changes, and the steel-and-concrete wall have sharply dropped the cross-border flow of migrants, despite the massive economic pressure caused by the distant promise of decent jobs in the United States.

In his acceptance speech at the RNC, Trump declared:

Today, America’s borders are more secure than ever before. We ended catch-and-release, stopped asylum fraud, took down human traffickers who prey on women and children, and we have deported 20,000 gang members and 500,000 criminal aliens. We have already built 300 miles of border wall — and we are adding ten new miles every single week. The wall will soon be complete, and it is working beyond our wildest expectations.

The data is displayed by the Department of Homeland Security and show that the number of migrants at the border has been pushed down from 144,000 in May 2019 to 23,000 in 2020.

The reduced inflow of migrants has helped border officers block more drug trafficking. The Washington Times reported on August 23:

Ten months into the fiscal year (83.3% of the way to fiscal 2021), cocaine seizures are almost 96% of what they were in all of fiscal 2019, methamphetamine seizures 87.5% and (most significantly) fentanyl seizures are already at 198% of what they were in fiscal 2019.

The wall has played a subsidiary and complementary role compared to the many regulatory changes set by Trump. These changes include the Migrant Protection Protocols and the denial of work permits to asylum seekers.

Even the New York Times admitted on August 25:

The president has largely blocked asylum seekers and refugees fleeing persecution, war and violence. He has built nearly 300 miles of border wall … He has made it harder for poor people to immigrate to the United States, imposed travel bans on predominantly Muslim countries, and separated migrant children from their parents at the border.

However, Trump has yet to win permanent reductions in the legal migration or in the legal inflow of visa workers who are hired by Fortune 500 companies to take the jobs needed by Americans. The legal inflow of workers nudges down wages and boosts housing prices.

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