NBC’s “Meet the Press” host Chuck Todd said “there is no evidence to back up Trump’s now famous claim that immigrants are rapists and bringing crime into the United States” and “we couldn’t find a single study that links violent crime and immigration” on Sunday.
Todd stated, “thanks to Donald Trump, it does seem like a lot of people want to talk about one topic right now, and that’s immigration. In fact, it’s one thing that Donald Trump is right about, without him, we wouldn’t be talking about it as much. But before we get to our substantive immigration debate, we want to separate some of the facts from fiction that you’ve been hearing from him.”
Todd continued, “It turns out there is no evidence to back up Trump’s now famous claim that immigrants are rapists and bringing crime into the United States. In fact, we couldn’t find a single study that links violent crime and immigration [the source for this, as displayed on the screen, was NBC News/Cato Institute]. Moreover, we actually did find one study that says the crime rate among first-generation immigrants, those born elsewhere, is actually lower than the overall crime rate among all residents in the United States [source: Pew Research Center]. Trump has also said that we have no protection at our borders. Well, of course, he’s right that there is a border problem. But the number of illegal immigrants is down. In 2007, there were 12.2 million unauthorized immigrants in the United States, that figure dropped to 11.2 million in 2012, the last year for which we have figures [source: Pew Research Center]. And there is his other claim here, are Mexicans flooding into the country, as Trump suggests? Well, net migration between United States and Mexico is, ready for this? Zero, meaning there are just as many people emigrating to Mexico as there are Mexicans coming from Mexico [source: Pew Research Center/U.S. Census Bureau.] And ready for this? According to the Government Accountability Office, border security in the southwest is about 84% effective. That’s not perfect, but that is a B average. Now, the cost to seal the southwest border, it’s an estimated $28 billion a year [source: Bloomberg], roughly the annual budget of the entire Justice Department. The last time, the amount of money we’ve been spending is $18 billion a year. So, we’ve got to find another way if we want to do even more money on that front.”
Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett