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Surrounded by Texas’ Republican Sens. Ted Cruz and John Cornyn, and by Border Patrol agents, President Donald Trump said people from the Middle East and all over the world were coming through the southern border and that a barrier is needed to prevent them from coming in.
He also said there have never been as many apprehensions as there are now. That’s verifiably wrong.
"Whether it’s steel or concrete, you don't care. We need a barrier, and they have done a fantastic job," Trump said Jan. 10. "Never so many apprehensions ever in our history."
His comment came as an effort to sway public and lawmakers’ support for funding for a border wall at the southern border. The federal government is in a partial shutdown as Trump and Democrats in congress disagree over the appropriations of taxpayers’ funds for the wall project.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection on its website has southwest border apprehension data going back to fiscal year 1960.
In fiscal year 2000, Border Patrol recorded more than 1.6 million apprehensions at the southwest border.
How many in 2017? Close to 304,000.
In 2018? Just under 400,000.
In 2017, the Rio Grande Valley sector made 137,562 apprehensions; in 2018, it recorded 162,262 apprehensions.
In 2014, Border Patrol agents in the Rio Grande Valley made 256,393 apprehensions.
The latest available monthly data for southwest border apprehensions is for November (part of fiscal year 2019). This past November, Border Patrol recorded 51,856 apprehensions. Is that the highest apprehension number in one November? No. In November of fiscal year 2000, Border Patrol logged 76,196 apprehensions.
By multiple metrics, Trump’s claim doesn’t add up.
Trump’s statement is inaccurate. We rate it False.
C-SPAN, President Trump Border Security Briefing, Jan. 10, 2019
CBP.gov, United States Border Patrol Southwest Border Sectors FY 1960-2017; U.S. Border Patrol Southwest Border Apprehensions by Sector FY2018, Last modified: October 23, 2018, accessed Jan. 11, 2019; United States Border Patrol Total Illegal Alien Apprehensions By Month, FY 2000 through FY 2017; U.S. Border Patrol Southwest Border Apprehensions by Sector Fiscal Year 2019, Last modified: December 6, 2018
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