MSNBC cut off a Trump immigration event to fact check the false claims and statistics he was using to criminalize immigrants.
Video of the MSNBC fact check:
MSNBC’s Chris Jansing said:
The consistent narrative from that president is that many of the migrants crossing the border overall are dangerous criminals threatening the safety of America. And the U.S. Customs and border protections own statistics so that simply is not true. Let’s look at the real numbers. There were a total of 415,191 apprehensions fiscal year 2017. They were 8,531 criminal aliens arrested. Of those three — three, were convicted of homicide or man more than 4,000 were convicted for illegal entry or reentry. Mostly, that’s a misdemeanor. And to be completely clear, the CBP defines criminal aliens as aliens who have been convicted of one or more crimes, whether in the U.S. Or abroad prior to interdiction by the U.S. Border patrol and does not include convictions for conduct that is not deemed criminal by the United States.
There is more. Four academic studies also show that Trump’s rhetoric suggesting that undocumented immigrants are more likely to break the law is flat out wrong. A criminologist at the University of Wisconsin Madison said increased undocumented immigration since 1990 has not increased violent crime over that same period. A 2015 study in Texas specifically found, quote, the homicide conviction rate for illegal immigrants was 25% below that of native-born Americans in the state. For sexual assault, 11.5% below that. And for larceny, 79% below people born in this country.
Now, we knew all of this before Trump’s policy to separate parents from their children at the border, saying it was a matter of national security. Again, in no way are we minimizing the tragic stories of victims. Because it is truly horrible. But the president’s use of these stories to paint migrants overall as mostly dangerous murderers and rapists and to use them to defend his policy of separating parents from their children is wrong. It is simply wrong on the facts.
Fact checks should be standard procedure for every Trump event
MSNBC got it right. If Donald Trump is going to use the presidency to lie to the American people, the press must correct those lies and not allow him to spread unchallenged disinformation. Everyone doesn’t know that Trump is lying, so it is vital that the media takes nothing for granted. Once the press knew what the intention of this event was, it should not have been covered. Trump spent the entire event lying, spreading fear, and using the stories of families of victims of violent crimes to demonize immigrants.
Trump should have been cut off because his rhetoric is dividing and harming the country. He also had nothing new to say and managed to screw up his racist attacks.
If the press is going to cover Trump, they need to fact check.
Doing anything less is a form of journalistic malpractice.
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Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association