Trump: France and Germany May Face More Screening After Terror Attacks

Donald Trump said Sunday he would subject people from France, among other countries, to “extreme vetting” as they seek to enter the United States, a move he says is necessary to deter terror attacks.

The GOP presidential nominee, in an interview that aired Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” was asked if his proposal might mean that ultimately far fewer people from overseas would be allowed into the U.S.

“Maybe we get to that point,” Trump replied, adding: “We have to be smart and we have to be vigilant and we have to be strong.”

For months Trump has called for a temporary ban on foreign Muslims seeking to enter the United States and criticized the Obama administration for continuing to admit refugees from Syria. In his speech Thursday night at the Republican National Convention, he said the U.S. “must immediately suspend immigration from any nation that has been compromised by terrorism until such time as proven vetting mechanisms have been put in place” — notably leaving out any reference to Muslims or to Syria, Iraq and other Mideast nations.

In the NBC interview, Trump noted “specific problems” in Germany and France — both countries have been rocked by fatal attacks in public places in recent weeks — and “Meet the Press” host Chuck Todd asked if his proposal would limit immigration from France. “They’ve been compromised by terrorism,” Todd said.

Trump replied: “They have totally been. And you know why? It’s their own fault. Because they allowed people to come into their territory.” He then called for “extreme vetting” and said: “We have to have tough, we’re going to have tough standards. … If a person can’t prove what they have to be able to prove, they’re not coming into this country.”

(h/t Fox News, Yahoo)


Trump Repeats Debunked Facts During Dark RNC Speech

In accepting his party’s nomination for president, Donald Trump said “here, at our convention, there will be no lies.” But we found plenty of instances where Trump twisted facts or made false claims.


2nd Amendment

TRUMP: My opponent wants to essentially abolish the 2nd amendment.

THE FACTS: Clinton has proposed gun regulations, like background checks to purchase firearms. Yet the 2008 Supreme Court decision protecting and individual’s right to possess firearms also stated that the right isn’t unlimited — and can be subjected to regulations. (NBC)


TRUMP: Homicides last year increased by 17 percent in America’s fifty largest cities. That’s the largest increase in 25 years.

THE FACTS: Trump is correct that there has recently been an uptick in crime, including in some (but not all) of America’s largest cities, but he is cherry-picking.

The country has essentially halved its national homicide rate since 1991. Overall, violent crime is down significantly since the 1980s and 1990s, according to FBI statistics.

The current violent crime rate is lower today per the most recent data (365 incidents of violent crime per 100,000 people) than when President Obama first took office in 2009 (431 incidents per 100,000 people). (NBC) (Wonkblog)

Crime in Baltimore

TRUMP: In our nation’s capital, killings have risen by 50 percent. They are up nearly 60 percent in nearby Baltimore.

THE FACTS: Those statistics are based on an analysis performed by The Washington Post, which found no clear pattern in which cities saw increases in homicides. (NY Times)

Crime in Chicago

TRUMP: In the president’s hometown of Chicago, more than 2,000 have been the victims of shootings this year alone. And more than 3,600 have been killed in the Chicago area since he took office.

THE FACTS: Nearly 60% of guns involved in Chicago crimes were purchased outside the state of Illinois. Twenty percent of those were purchased next door, in Mike Pence’s home state of Indiana. (Quartz)

Hillary Clinton Email Scandal

TRUMP: And when a secretary of state illegally stores her emails on a private server, deletes 33,000 of them so the authorities can’t see her crime, puts our country at risk, lies about it in every different form and faces no consequence – I know that corruption has reached a level like never before.

THE FACTS: Trump twisted the facts when he said that Clinton “illegally” stored emails on her private server while secretary of state, and deleted 33,000 of them “so the authorities can’t see her crime.” The FBI on July 5 cleared Clinton of wrongdoing, and found no evidence of a cover-up. (


TRUMP: The number of new illegal immigrant families who have crossed the border so far this year already exceeds the entire total from 2015.

THE FACTS: That statistic is true, but it’s also a bit of cherry-picking. In Fiscal Year 2014, there were more than 68,000 apprehensions of immigrant families crossing the border. That number declined to 40,000 in Fiscal Year 2015. In Fiscal Year 2016 (which ends in September), the number stands at 51,000 — so higher than in 2015, but lower than 2014 (see here and here). (NBC)

Immigration Crime

TRUMP: Nearly 180,000 illegal immigrants with criminal records, ordered deported from our country, are tonight roaming free to threaten peaceful citizens.

THE FACTS: Those numbers come from a report by the Department of Homeland Security, which told Congress late last year that nearly 1 million undocumented immigrants have been ordered deported but remain in the country. Mr. Trump did not mention that most of those 180,000 are likely people charged with nonviolent crimes.

TRUMP: Where was sanctuary for all the other … Americans who have been so brutally murdered [by undocumented immigrants], and who have suffered so, so horribly?

THE FACTS: Researchers have found that first-generation immigrants (legal or not) commit less crime than native-born Americans or second-generation immigrants. (NBC)

Iran Deal

TRUMP: We all remember the images of our sailors being forced to their knees by their Iranian captors at gunpoint. This was just prior to the signing of the Iran deal.

THE FACTS: It actually came AFTER the signing of the Iran deal, which happened on July 14, 2015. The sailors were captured in Jan. 2016 — right before President Obama’s State of the Union address. (NBC)

TRUMP: Iran is on the path to nuclear weapons.

At the time of the deal, Iran was already on a path to acquiring nuclear weapons.

Prior to the agreement, the breakout time was thought to be months, but now it is more than a year for at least 10 years, as the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service explains in its May report “Iran Nuclear Agreement.” (

Libya Regime Change

TRUMP: We must abandon the failed policy of nation-building and regime change that Hillary Clinton pushed in Iraq, Libya, in Egypt, and Syria.

THE FACTS: Trump criticized Clinton for her “failed policy of nation-building and regime change” and he counted Libya among them. Left unsaid was that Trump also supported the military ouster of Moammar Gadhafi at that time.

In a video posted to his YouTube channel in February 2011, Trump stated, “We should do it on a humanitarian basis. Immediately go into Libya, knock this guy out very quickly, very surgically, very effectively and save the lives.” (

National Debt

TRUMP: President Obama has almost doubled our national debt to more than 19 trillion dollars, and growing.

THE FACTS: He’s right. When Obama took office on Jan. 20, 2009, the public debt stood at $10.6 trillion. It is now $19.4 trillion, according to the U.S. Treasury Department.


TRUMP: We will repeal and replace disastrous Obamacare. You will be able to choose your own doctor again.

Trump used a popular false talking point about the Affordable Care Act when he said that he’d repeal it and “you will be able to choose your own doctor again.” The law didn’t take away the ability to choose a doctor.

The Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare, expanded Medicaid but also expanded private insurance coverage. And as most Americans know — since 55 percent have private insurance — the insurers usually have a network of doctors to choose from. The Affordable Care Act didn’t change that.

Police Killed in Line of Duty

TRUMP: The number of police officers killed in the line of duty has risen by almost 50% compared to this point last year.

THE FACTS: This is a tragic stat which is why Trump should not be dishonest with these figures. The number of officers killed in the line of duty has not changed compared to last year.

The Officer Down Memorial Page, which tracks officer deaths, reports that 68 police officers have been killed so far this year, almost exactly the same as the 69 who were killed in the same period last year. (NY Times)


TRUMP: Nearly four in 10 African-American children are living in poverty, while 58 percent of African-American youth are now not employed. Two million more Latinos are in poverty today than when the President took his oath of office less than eight years ago.

THE FACTS: Yes, 38 percent of African American children are living in poverty, according to Census data. But Trump isn’t correct that 58 percent of African American youth are unemployed. The Bureau of Labor Statistics finds that the African American unemployment rate for those ages 16-19 is 28.4 percent (versus 16.9 percent for all youth that age). And Trump is misleading on his claim about Latinos living in poverty. In 2009, 12.3 million Latinos were living in poverty (with a rate of 25.3 percent). In 2014, the number jumped to 13 million — but the rate actually DECLINED to 23.6 percent. (NBC)


TRUMP: My opponent has called for a radical 550 percent increase in Syrian refugees on top of existing massive refugee flows coming into our country under President Obama. She proposes this despite the fact that there’s no way to screen these refugees in order to find out who they are or where they come from. I only want to admit individuals into our country who will support our values and love our people.

THE FACTS: While criticizing Hillary Clinton’s support for admitting more Syrian refugees to the U.S., Trump said that “there’s no way to screen” those refugees to determine “who they are or where they come from.” That’s false. All refugees admitted to the U.S. go through an extensive vetting process that involves multiple federal agencies and can take up to 24 months to complete. (


TRUMP: Then we are going to deal with the issue of regulation, one of the greatest job-killers of them all. Excessive regulation is costing our country as much as $2 trillion a year, and we will end it.

Trump repeated an overstatement on the costs of regulation — a claim we heard on the second day of the convention from Sen. Shelley Moore Capito. Trump said that “excessive regulation is costing our country as much as $2 trillion a year,” but that figure comes from a conservative group’s admitted “back-of-the-envelope” calculation and is an estimate of regulatory costs that does not include potential savings.

The calculation comes from the Competitive Enterprise Institute, a staunch opponent of government over-regulation. In the report, “Ten Thousand Commandments: An Annual Snapshot of the Federal Regulatory State,” author Clyde Wayne Crews Jr. calculates the 2013 cost of federal regulatory compliance at nearly $1.9 trillion.

That figure is based on the Office of Management and Budget’s annual reports to Congress on the benefits and costs of federal regulation. The problem is that the Competitive Enterprise report focused on the “costs” and ignored the “benefits” listed in those reports. That tells only half the story. (

Tax Reform

TRUMP: While Hillary Clinton plans a massive tax increase, I have proposed the largest tax reduction of any candidate who has declared for the presidential race this year – Democrat or Republican. Middle-income Americans will experience profound relief, and taxes will be simplified for everyone.

THE FACTS: The nonpartisan Tax Policy Center and The Tax Foundation reached a similar conclusion about Clinton’s tax plan. Nearly all of the tax increases would fall on the top 1 percent; the bottom 95 percent of taxpayers would see little or no change in their taxes.

On the flip-side, Trump’s tax plan includes tax cuts that disproportionately benefit the rich (like Trump) and there is no possible world where the revenue from his proposed new taxes could make up for the tax cuts. Not by a long shot.

As we already reviewed, estimates of Trump’s proposal would reduce federal revenue by $9.5 trillion over its first decade and reduce an additional $15.0 trillion over the subsequent 10 years causing massive cuts to every government program. (


TRUMP: [Hillary Clinton] supported NAFTA, and she supported China’s entrance into the World Trade Organization — another one of her husband’s colossal mistakes and disasters … She supported the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

THE FACTS: This is not entirely true. Trump is correct that Clinton backed NAFTA and China’s entry into the WTO, which took place while her husband was president. Yet although touting the TPP trade agreement while she served as secretary of state, Clinton has since opposed the measure. Notably, Trump’s vice-presidential running mate Mike Pence also has praised NAFTA and TPP. (NBC)

Trump Flip-Flops Position on Muslim Ban to Only ‘Terrorist States’

Donald Trump’s proposed ban on Muslims entering the United States has been a central issue of his campaign — but he has described the ban differently in the weeks since the mass shooting in Orlando.

While gaggling with reporters as he toured his golf club here, Trump suggested in an offhand comment that his ban wouldn’t apply to Muslims from countries not typically associated with terrorism.

“It wouldn’t bother me, it wouldn’t bother me,” Trump said when asked whether he would allow a Scottish Muslim into the U.S. under his policy.

His spokeswoman, Hope Hicks, told CNN Saturday that Trump supports barring only Muslims from “terror states,” not all Muslims.

Trump even indicated that the ban is not ironclad, telling CNN in a brief interview on Saturday he would consider allowing Muslims from states with heavy terrorist activity to enter the U.S., as long as they are “vetted strongly.”

He also told the Daily Mail that individuals from “terror countries” would be “even more severely vetted” but could ultimately be allowed entry into the country.

“People coming from the terror states — and you know who I’m talking about when I talk about the terror states — we are going to be so vigilant you wouldn’t believe it and frankly a lot will be banned,” Trump told CNN after touring his golf course here.

Trump also focused on the need to ban individuals from “terrorist countries” in an interview later Saturday with Bloomberg Politics.

“I want terrorists out. I want people that have bad thoughts out. I would limit specific terrorist countries and we know who those terrorist countries are,” Trump said, again not specifying which countries would be included.

(h/t CNN)


With the many other flip-flops since becoming the Republican party’s nominee, Trump rejected almost every stance that his supporters loved which separated him from the other Republican primary candidates.

On December 7th, 2015, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump released a statement calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can “figure out what is going on.” The reasons Trump cited for the Muslim ban included studies that did not exist and unsubstantiated claims that there was a “great hatred towards Americans by large segments of the Muslim population” and the that “it is obvious to anybody the hatred is beyond comprehension.”

It was a statement that, by far, was one of the most bigoted statements Trump, or any other politician, has made in our lifetime.

After Orlando, Donald Trump Would Expand Muslim Immigrant Ban

In a speech reacting to the massacre in Orlando where 50 people were killed, presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump doubles down on his proposal to ban immigration of Muslims, and he expanded his proposal to “suspend immigration from areas of the world where there is a proven history of terrorism against the United States, Europe or allies.”

Speaking at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics, Trump did not mention foreign policy, discuss the fight against terrorist group ISIS, or propose solutions to combat hate or extremism, instead he said the attack early Sunday morning at the Pulse nightclub was the result of the U.S.’s immigration policies.

Trump said, reading from a teleprompter:

“The bottom line is that the only reason the killer was in America in the first place was because we allowed his family to come here. That is a fact, and it’s a fact we need to talk about.”

The killer was an American born in New York but his father is an immigrant from Afghanistan.

Trump had originally said he would temporarily suspend immigration from Muslims, but he was starting to soften that idea in recent weeks. But after Sunday’s horror, he went further.

“The ban will be lifted when we as a nation are in a position to properly and perfectly screen those people coming into our country. We are importing radical Islamic terrorism into the west through a failed immigration system.”

Trump also attacked presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton throughout his speech, saying she “cannot be a friend of the gay community as long as she” supports current immigration policies. The shooting took place at a nightclub frequented by members of the LGBT community.

He said Clinton wants to “ban guns” and “abolish the Second Amendment.” (Clinton has never said she wants to ban guns or the Second Amendment but she does support banning assault weapons.)

Trump noted that he will “be meeting with the NRA … “to discuss how to ensure Americans have the means to protect themselves in this age of terror.”

Then she wants to “admit the very people who want to slaughter us,” he said.

He also said President Barack Obama has knee-capped the intelligence agencies.

“They’re not being allowed to do their job,” Trump said.

But since he was elected in 2008, the president has supported most surveillance mechanisms used by the intelligence agency implemented under the PATRIOT Act. He pushed for a five year extension that eventually passed Congress in December of 2012.

“As President I will give our intelligence community, law enforcement and military the tools they need to prevent terrorist attacks,” Trump said. “Truly, our President doesn’t know what he is doing. He has failed us, and failed us badly, and under his leadership, this situation will not get any better — it will only get worse.

He also said President Barack Obama has knee-capped the intelligence agencies.

“They’re not being allowed to do their job,” Trump said.

But since he was elected in 2008, the president has supported most surveillance mechanisms used by the intelligence agency implemented under the PATRIOT Act. He pushed for a five year extension that eventually passed Congress in December of 2012.

“As President I will give our intelligence community, law enforcement and military the tools they need to prevent terrorist attacks,” Trump said. “Truly, our President doesn’t know what he is doing. He has failed us, and failed us badly, and under his leadership, this situation will not get any better — it will only get worse

(h/t NBC News)


This would have done absolutely nothing to prevent the massacre in Orlando. The killer was an American born in New York.


Trump Stretches Facts in Fiery Post-Orlando Speech

Donald Trump responded to the worst terror attack since 9/11 with a no-holds-barred attack on Muslims and Hillary Clinton that played loose with the facts and was rife with inflammatory rhetoric.

He claimed Clinton wanted to disarm Americans and let Islamic terrorists slaughter them, while seeming to overinflate the number of Syrian refugees and insinuating the perpetrator of the Orlando attack was a foreigner.

In a speech pulsating with tough talk that will likely please his supporters, the presumptive Republican nominee also renewed his call for a ban on Muslim migration into the United States — and extended it to cover all nations with a history of terrorism. Hinting at a huge expansion of presidential power, he vowed to impose such a system by using executive orders.

“The current politically correct response cripples our ability to talk and to think and act clearly,” Trump said framed by two American flags at Saint Anselm College in New Hampshire. “If we don’t get tough, and if we don’t get smart, and fast, we’re not going to have our country anymore. There will be nothing, absolutely nothing, left.”

Trump’s speech Monday was a clear attempt to use the fallout from Sunday’s attack in Florida that left 49 dead to position himself as a strong agent of change determined to flush out a culture of weakness and incompetence that he said had let terrorism fester and threatened the existence of U.S. culture itself.

It is a strategy that appealed to his base and helped him win the Republican primaries, and he is now deploying it after a rough couple of weeks signifying the start of the general election.

As part of that effort Monday, he delivered some of the most explosive and forceful political rhetoric uttered by a major U.S. political figure in many years, seeming to show little regard for facts.

Trump refused to name Omar Mateen, the killer who went on the rampage in an LGBT nightclub in Orlando, during his speech. But, adding a line not found in his prepared remarks, he said that he was born “an Afghan, of Afghan parents, who immigrated to the United States.” But the perpetrator of the Orlando massacre was born in New York to parents from Afghanistan.

The real estate magnate also appeared to equate all Muslims who seek to come to the United States with the perpetrators of recent terror attacks — another claim that seems to fly in the face of the evidence about a community that has been present in the U.S. for decades.

“We cannot continue to allow thousands upon thousands of people to pour into our country many of whom have the same thought process as this savage killer,” Trump said.

“Remember this, radical Islam is anti-woman, anti-gay and anti- American.”

He also accused Clinton of endangering the country with her plans to bring in more foreigners.

“Hillary Clinton’s catastrophic immigration plan will bring vastly more radical Islamic immigration into this country, threatening not only our society but our entire way of life,” he charged. “When it comes to radical Islamic terrorism, ignorance is not bliss. It’s deadly — totally deadly.”

He accused Clinton of wanting to “allow radical Islamic terrorists to pour into our country. They enslave women and they murder gays. I don’t want them in our country.”

And he repeated an unsubstantiated claim that Clinton wants to deny Americans’ 2nd Amendment rights.

Trump’s rhetoric — which was heavy on toughness but often short on policy details — contrasted sharply with the more nuanced and conventional response to the attack delivered earlier by Clinton, the presumptive Democratic nominee.

But he made a case that the current policies were not working and were leaving America dangerously exposed to a tide of Islamic terror he said was coming its way — an argument that many in the GOP find compelling.

He has pointed to the political benefits of the rising fears of terrorism following other recent attacks.

In each instance, Trump sought to project both strength and a lack of concern for the reaction to his provocative rhetoric, calculating that both would help him rise in the polls during the Republican primary. Indeed, a majority of Republican voters agreed with Trump’s call to temporarily ban all foreign Muslims from entering the United States.

“Whenever there’s a tragedy, everything goes up, my numbers go way up because we have no strength in this country,” Trump said on CNN after last December’s San Bernardino shooting. “We have weak, sad politicians.”

(h/t CNN, NBC)


Donald Trump’s speech was heavy on inflammatory rhetoric, light on details and facts.

Trump: “The Muslim ban is temporary. We have to find out what is going on?”

There are terrorists running around in Syria and Iraq. They have a book. They think that book is great. The use their book to justify killing others. Why is that so fucking hard to understand? Can he shut up about his stupid ban now?

Plus, aside from being completely and totally xenophobic, there is one major logical flaw with this policy. Meet Omar Mateen, 29 year old who killed at least 50 people in massacre Orlando. An American, born in New York.

Omar Mateen

Meet James Wesley Howell, 20 year old who was caught with cache of weapons, ammunition and explosive-making materials in his car and apparent plans to attend the L.A. Pride festival in West Hollywood. An American, born in Indiana.

James Wesley Howell

Exactly how would banning foreigners from entering the United States have solved the Orlando massacre or helped to prevent another possible shooting in Los Angeles by Americans?

Trump: A “tremendous flow” of Syrian refugees is pouring into the country free of screening also seemed to be an exaggeration.

Since May 1, 2016, 2,019 Syrian refugees have been admitted to the U.S., according to a State Department official, while only 1,736 were taken in over the first seven months of the fiscal year.

Entries have risen in recent months but the process has been painstaking for many of those hoping to win refuge in America and have to submit to a months-long vetting process. Being accepted into the United States as a refuge is the hardest route to enter this country. If a foreign person wanted to do harm here in America there are much easier ways than the hardest route to enter this country.

Trump: “Each year the United States permanently admits 100,000 immigrants from the Middle-East.”

The actual number of immigrants from the middle east in 2014 was 69,000. Trump is off by about 31%, so we’ll call that a ‘D+’ in truth telling.

Interestingly, there are a lot of countries in the middle-east that are our friends, like Israel. So is Donald Trump inferring that Israelis are savages? If we remove our friends from the list of Middle-Eastern countries, like Egypt and Saudi Arabia, then that leaves only 33,000 immigrants who were admitted into the United States in 2014 from the Middle-East. That would mean Trump is off by 67%.

We’ll have to revise Donald’s truth grade to an ‘F’.

Trump: “[Clinton] wants to take away Americans’ guns and then admit the very people who want to slaughter us.”

Clinton has called for universal background checks and stricter controls on firearms, but has never called for the abolition of the 2nd Amendment. Another false statement.

Trump: “Remember this, radical Islam is anti-woman, anti-gay and anti- American.”

You know who has far more effective at being more anti-woman and anti-gay in this country? Republicans.



More fact checking from NBC News.

Trump: ‘Illegal Immigrants Are Taken Much Better Care of by This Country Than Our Veterans’

Republican U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump addresses the Rolling Thunder motorcycle rally to highlight POW-MIA issues on Memorial Day weekend in Washington, U.S. May 29, 2016. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst - RTX2EQSU

Donald Trump told a Rolling Thunder motorcycle rally that people in the U.S. illegally often are cared for better than the nation’s military veterans. Trump was speaking at the National Mall in Washington, D.C., where hundreds of thousands of bikers gathered to honor prisoners of war and service members missing in action.

“In many cases, illegal immigrants are taken much better care of by this country than our veterans,” Trump told the attendees. “We’re not going to allow that to happen any longer.”

“We’re gonna rebuild our military,” he continued. “And we’re gonna take care of our veterans. Our veterans have been treated so badly in this country.”

(h/t PBS)


Donald Trump tries to show he has the back of our country’s veterans, however there has been some rather large controversial moments during his campaign. Trump once said that Senator John McCain wasn’t a war hero because he was caught by the enemy, and has yet to apologize for making that comment. Trump also claimed for 4 months that he donated $1 million dollars to veteran charities, which he eventually did but only after journalists uncovered he was lying the whole time.

Donald Trump does have a point that veterans must be treated better by our lawmakers, both Republican and Democrat, as the Veterans Administration has seen its troubles over the years. From unsatisfactory treatment and conditions at the Walter Reed Medical Center and long wait times under George W. Bush, to Obama firing Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki in 2014 for long wait times and false record-keeping. And not much has been done because to this day wait times are still an issue at VA hospitals.

However, all that aside, the main issue here is how Donald Trump is making a false choice between veterans and illegal immigrants. He is instilling a nativist “us-versus-them” mentality to his supports by exploiting veterans to play on patriotism by pitting them against illegal Mexican immigrants. In effect, Donald Trump is trying to convince you that there are only two choices, “fund vets or fund illegal immigrants,” when there are actually more than two options.

There are probably hundreds of different and competing ideas to raise revenues or reform spending in order to fund better VA services. For example, we could end or cut back on corporate welfare, which according to the right-leaning CATO Institute cost taxpayers $100 billion per year. And another choice would be to let the Bush tax cuts expire, which according to the Congressional Research Service cost taxpayers on average $350 billion per year. Even Trump’s plan to repeal Obamacare would leave 37 million people uninsured again but would save taxpayers on average $67 billion per year. To boil a very complex answer down to “either vets or illegals” is simply illogical and dishonest.

Finally, Trump is pushing some long debunked far-right conservative myths how illegal immigrants are “a drain on the system” as the basis of his statement. These myths come from anti-immigration organizations, such as Center for Immigration Studies and Federation for American Immigration Reform, who consistently put out flawed studies that feed right-wing ideology for stronger immigration policies.

The fact is tax revenues of all types generated by immigrants, both legal and unauthorized, exceed the cost of the federal services they use. Undocumented immigrants pay into, but do not qualify for welfare, food stamps, Medicaid, and most other public benefits. Most of these programs require proof of legal immigration status and under the 1996 Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act, even legal immigrants cannot receive these benefits until they have been in the United States for more than five years.


Trump Warns of Another 9/11-like Attack from Syrian Refugees

"The Green Line" podcast.

Donald Trump again warned of another 9/11-like attack on the United States if refugees are continually allowed into the country.

In an interview on the National Border Patrol Council podcast “The Green Line” the presumptive Republican nominee said:

Our country has enough difficulty right now without letting the Syrians pour in.

Trump also suggested ISIS is paying for refugees’ cell phone plans.

They all have cell phones so they don’t have money, they don’t have anything, they have cell phones. Who pays their monthly charges, right? They have cell phones with the flags, the ISIS flags on them.

When asked if he thought it would take an attack similar to 9/11 for the country to “wake up about border security,” Trump agreed.

Bad things will happen; a lot of bad things will happen. There will be attacks that you wouldn’t believe. There will be attacks by the people that are right now coming in to our country.

Trump also spoke about Hillary Clinton’s agenda for immigration reform and his own plans for border control, including his proposal to build a wall at the Southern border. The National Border Control agents’ union made its first-ever endorsement of a presidential candidate when it backed Trump in March.

(h/t CNN, Vox)


The reference to Syrian refugees with ISIS phones appears to be from an article first reported by the Norwegian newspaper The Netavisen, where a few of the refugees had cell phone images with horrors of war, as well as images of flags, symbols and characters that can be linked to the terrorist group ISIS and other terrorist groups. The article was then floated on the conspiracy site Infowars and the British tabloid the Daily Mail that “hundreds” of refugees in Norway were found with photos of ISIS flags on their phones. And finally we have Donald Trump claiming “thousands.” Just like a game of whisper down the alley the reality is it was not “thousands of people” like Trump claimed.

Conveniently omitted from Donald Trump’s claim was the statements from the Norwegian officials in charge of investigating these incidents who say the images are most likely documentation of ISIS’s presence and what the individuals have witnessed, rather than a statement of support. Also the refugees had images of ISIS flags which they could use when passing through ISIS controlled areas as to avoid suspicion.

Trump had proposed a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States,” in a December press release, but just this week flip-flopped and said the ban was “only a suggestion.”



Trump Blames Immigrants for Rise in LA Crime

Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump opened his California campaign in Costa Mesa, addressing thousands of supporters in a rambling speech that lasted more than an hour. Trump mostly stuck to this usual stump speech – attacking Ted Cruz, Hillary Clinton, and the media.

But in the latter part of his address, he made note of a sharp rise in local crime rates. We wanted to check out his claims.

Claim #1: Crime is up. 

“In Los Angeles, homicides are up 10.2 percent,” Trump said. “Rapes are up 8.6 percent. Aggravated assaults are up 26.5 percent,” he told the raucous crowd. “Your crime numbers, they’re going through the roof, and we can’t have it anymore.”

Trump’s statistics are correct. He was citing LAPD statistics. Crime rates did rise significantly last year in Los Angeles and other major cities. However, what he leaves out is that crime levels are far below historic rates.

Last year, the city recorded 280 homicides. That was 26 more than 2014. But in 1990, there were 1,100 murders in Los Angeles.

“When you look at the long-term trends in Los Angeles, the arrows are pointing in the wrong direction for any sort of crime increase,” said Franklin Zimring, director of the criminal justice research program at Boalt Hall’s Earl Warren Legal Institute at the University of California, Berkeley. “Homicides are not just lower, but vastly lower.”

Claim #2: Illegal immigration is to blame for the crime spike

Trump was on much less solid ground when he blamed the crime spike on illegal immigration from Mexico.

To underscore his point, he opened his speech by ceding his podium to Jamiel Shaw Sr., whose son was shot and killed in Los Angeles by an immigrant in 2008. He also invited to the stage other locals whose loved ones were killed by immigrants.

As he has his entire campaign, Trump vowed to crack down on what he describes as a flood of illegal immigrants.

“We are going to build the wall,” Trump added. “Mexico is going to pay for the wall.”

What Trump never mentions is that government statistics show a sharp drop in illegal immigration.

The United States Border Patrol reported 337,117 apprehensions nationwide last fiscal year, compared to 486,651 the year before, a 30 percent decline.  That’s also a nearly 80 percent decline since the peak of apprehensions in fiscal year 2000, when more than 1.6 million apprehensions were made.

A 2015 Pew Research Center study also found that between 2009 and 2014, more Mexican nationals left the U.S. than came. The study found that an estimated 1 million Mexican nationals (including their U.S.-born children) left the U.S. to return to Mexico, but less than 900,000 migrated to the U.S. in the same time period.

Zimring also points out that decades of academic research has shown new immigrants tend to be law abiding.

“First generation immigrations of all kinds have extremely low crime rates,” said Zimring.

(h/t NPR)

Trump Outlines Stupid Plan To Get Mexico To Pay For Border Wall

Great Wall of Trump

Donald Trump announced he would use a federal anti-terrorism surveillance law as a tool to force Mexico to pay for the border wall he has pledged to build on the U.S.’s southern border.

Trump outlined the steps his administration would undertake to compel Mexico to pay the U.S. “$5-10 billion” to fund a border wall in a memo his campaign released Tuesday morning — a plan that relies largely on threatening to bar undocumented Mexican immigrants in the United States from wiring money to relatives in Mexico.

Using a broad interpretation of the post-9/11 USA Patriot Act, Trump writes in the memo that he would threaten to issue new regulations that would compel money transfer companies like Western Union to verify a client’s identity and legal status before authorizing a wire transfer.

Trump’s plan reads just like how he talks.

  1. Day 1, broaden a provision in the Patriot Act, a (shitty) law used in the fight against terrorism, to include wire transfers. Also include a requirement that no alien may wire money outside of the United States unless the alien first provides a document establishing his lawful presence in the United States. So if you are brown skin then Trump’s plan requires you to first provide proof of citizenship to wire money to Mexico.
  2. Mexico waits 24 hours to complain. No really here is the exact quote, “On day 2 Mexico will immediately protest.” It goes on to claim without citation that “they” receive approximately $24 billion a year in remittances from Mexican nationals working in the United States, mostly from illegal aliens.
  3. Day 3, Trump publicly threatens the Mexican government to pay for the wall now, otherwise he will enact tariffs so harsh it will hurt both economies.
  4. Enact trade tariffs that will hurt both economies should the Mexican government not comply. And to quote, “Mexico needs access to our markets much more than the reverse, so we have all the leverage and will win the negotiation.”
  5. Threatens to cancel visas.
  6. Threatens to increase visa fees which Trump claims would pay for the wall all by itself.

The memo then concludes by blaming Mexico directly for crime, drugs, and the costs to the legal system from prosecution and incarceration.

Mexico has taken advantage of us in another way as well: gangs, drug traffickers and cartels have freely exploited our open borders and committed vast numbers of crimes inside the United States. The United States has borne the extraordinary daily cost of this criminal activity, including the cost of trials and incarcerations. Not to mention the even greater human cost. We have the moral high ground here, and all the leverage. It is time we use it in order to Make America Great Again.


Here’s the really stupid thing about Trump’s plan. If I’m a person who entered this country illegally, and live in this country illegally, what makes him think that I would only resort to purely legal ways of sending money back home. If a black market exists to get me here, why wouldn’t a black market exist to send my money back? And like most illegal immigrants I stay away from criminal elements, why not instead legally send a check or pre-paid Visa card in the mail? If you stop and think about each one of Trump’s proposals, it gets defeated with simple logic.

The sad fact is Donald Trump is single-handedly destroying the United State’s relationship with our 3rd largest trading partner. Our economy with Mexico is so intertwined that a goal to force economic hardships will amount to shooting ourselves in the foot. Look around your room,in your garage, or in your fridge, without a doubt you are looking at something that you purchased inexpensively and was made entirely or in part in Mexico. Now image you paid more for all of those things you see all because Donald Trump raised tariffs.

Furthermore, to bastardize an already questionable anti-terror law to require anyone who wishes to send money outside of the United States to first prove their citizenship could place an undue burden on that individual and would be difficult to prove that it is not illegal or unconstitutional.

Now about the actual cost. As we’ve discussed before, The Great Wall of Trump will not cost $10 billion but $25 billion plus $750 million every year for maintenance.  Let’s forget for a moment the illogical conclusion that blocking person-to-person money transfers will somehow effect the the Mexican government so drastically it will cause Enrique Nieto cave in and pay for a wall. Mexico does not receive $24 billion per yer in remittances as Trump claimed, but instead $19.9 billion.

There is a problem with that $19.9 billion number as it includes all remittance outflow to Mexico from both citizens and illegal immigrants. The real number, according to The World Bank for money transfers to Mexico from migrants is only $7 billion per year. It would take 4 years of unconstitutionally and magically collecting wire transfers until we would break even, and at that point the damage to both of our economies would be felt by the average American.


Donald Trump Calls for ‘Total and Complete Shutdown of Muslims Entering the United States’

Trump calls to ban all Muslims

On December 7th, 2015, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump released a statement calling for the ban on an entire religion from entering the United States of America.

Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on. According to Pew Research, among others, there is great hatred towards Americans by large segments of the Muslim population. Most recently, a poll from the Center for Security Policy released data showing “25% of those polled agreed that violence against Americans here in the United States is justified as a part of the global jihad” and 51% of those polled, “agreed that Muslims in America should have the choice of being governed according to Shariah.” Shariah authorizes such atrocities as murder against non-believers who won’t convert, beheadings and more unthinkable acts that pose great harm to Americans, especially women.


Mr. Trump stated, “Without looking at the various polling data, it is obvious to anybody the hatred is beyond comprehension. Where this hatred comes from and why we will have to determine. Until we are able to determine and understand this problem and the dangerous threat it poses, our country cannot be the victims of horrendous attacks by people that believe only in Jihad, and have no sense of reason or respect for human life. If I win the election for President, we are going to Make America Great Again.” – Donald J. Trump


This is, by far, one of the most bigoted statements Trump, or any other politician, has made in my lifetime. The lies used to push a nationalistic agenda places him in history among the likes of France’s National Front.

Does a President have this authority?

Trump has asserted that U.S. immigration law would grant him the authority to institute
the ban. Although he has not cited any particular provision, it appears he is invoking 8 US Code § 1182(f) the authority vested in the president to suspend entry of “any class of aliens.”

But Congress cannot grant, and a president cannot exercise, authority that would violate the Constitution.  In light of the constitutional flaws in Trump’s proposed ban, § 1182(f ) either must be read narrowly not to authorize such unconstitutional conduct, or it should be struck down as unconstitutional insofar as it authorizes such a ban.

Is Trump’s proposal constitutional?

A ban on Muslim U.S. citizens from entering the United States would be a blatant violation of due process and equal protection under the Fifth Amendment and the basic principle that the government may not banish its citizens or deny them entry to the United States.

In addition, any religion-based bar on the readmission of lawful permanent residents — who have a lawful right to readmission (particularly after a brief trip abroad) unless and until the government can prove they should lose that right — should fail under the Due Process Clause.

What about Trump’s evidence he used for justification of a ban?

While the study Trump cited does exist, it’s not at all clear that it supports his argument that “there is great hatred towards Americans by large segments of the Muslim population.” There are several important problems with the survey that call into question whether the results are representative of the entire U.S. Muslim population. It was an online, opt-in survey, which tend to produce less reliable samples because respondents choose to participate. In traditional polling methods, everyone in a population has a chance of being selected for the survey, meaning the results generally reflect the country’s demographics.



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