Political News

Fact-checking Trump's border speech and DACA offer

Posted January 19, 2019 5:23 p.m. EST

— President Donald Trump laid out a broad immigration deal In an address from the Roosevelt Room on Saturday that would fund his signature border wall in exchange for protections for more than one million immigrants.

"This is a common-sense compromise both parties should embrace," Trump said.

The proposal is similar to one Trump handed over to Congress earlier this month. It includes funds for humanitarian assistance, technology, border agents, law enforcement personnel, and immigration judges. Trump laid out additional concessions Saturday that include providing deportation relief to about 700,000 undocumented immigrants who were brought to the US as children and 300,000 immigrants with temporary protected status.

The address comes amid a record-long government shutdown. Trump's $5.7 billion budget request for his border wall is at the center of the fight. The latest proposal is an attempt to bring Democrats to the table, but it's unclear the new concessions will win them over. Shortly before the President's address, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi released a statement rejecting the proposal.

"It is unlikely that any one of these provisions alone would pass the House, and taken together, they are a non-starter," she said.

Trump began by drawing on familiar talking points that he's previously used to address what he describes as a humanitarian and security crisis at the southern border, acknowledging the violence migrants face in transit to the US.

Below is a breakdown of Trump's speech and some of the proposal he laid out:

"One in three women is sexually assaulted on the dangerous journey north. "

Indeed, the trek to the US-Mexico border has been reported to be violent. According to data from Doctors Without Borders, 68.3% of migrants and refugees "entering Mexico reported being victims of violence during their transit toward the United States," and nearly one-third of women said they'd been sexually abused. But this very violence is also why women have chosen to travel in caravans.

He also cited the flow of drugs across the southern border.

"Heroin alone kills 300 Americans a week, 90% of which comes across our southern border."

While Trump's statistics on heroin deaths are true, it's unclear what a border wall would do to reduce the amount of heroin coming across the border.

The CDC reported that in 2017, a total of 15,482 people died from drug overdoses involving heroin in the US. That averages out to about 297 individuals each week. In addition, the DEA's Heroin Signature Program, which analyzes heroin samples to determine where they were manufactured, determined that heroin from Mexico made up 86% of the samples analyzed in 2016.

However, the majority of heroin that comes across the southern border is smuggled in privately-owned vehicles and tractor-trailers at legal ports of entry, where the drug is co-mingled with legal goods, according to the DEA's 2018 annual drug threat assessment.

This story is breaking and being updated.