MSNBC’s Ali Velshi wrecked Trump’s MS-13 immigration invasion lie by showing that what Trump calls an infestation and invasion is actually just 180 people.
Velshi ran through the real MS-13 immigration numbers and said, “Let me just repeat those numbers. 180 ms-13 gang members caught at the border out of 187,000 people who are detained at the border. This isn’t the number of people who cross at the border, this number with this as the denominator. That means ms-13 members after the 300% increase, make up less than 1% of the people detained at the border. This is not an invasion.”
Trump’s MS-13 invasion is a lie
Trump has been using the claim that MS-13 is invading America as a pretext for his bigoted immigration policy. The fact is that MS-13 is not invading America, and that gang members and criminals make up a tiny number of immigrants apprehended on the border. Trump is using this lie to scare the Republican base into getting out to vote in the midterms. It is not Barack Obama who is coming to get scared white Republicans anymore. It’s MS-13. The playbook is the same, only the boogeyman has changed.
The White House is also falsely claiming that anyone who doesn’t want babies ripped away from their parents and locked in cages is pro-MS-13. The official White House Twitter account used this line of attack on potential 2020 Democratic presidential candidates Sens. Elizabeth Warren (MA) and Kamala Harris (CA). MS-13 is a very violent gang, but they are falsely used as political cover for a racist immigration policy.
The numbers don’t lie. The MS-13 issue isn’t going to be effectively dealt with by putting children in cages. There are much more effective and less glamorous policy initiatives that can be used to combat gang violence. For example, the federal government can increase funding to states and localities for anti-gang initiatives. The federal government can also act as information sharing resource and help coordinate efforts at the local level to combat gang violence, but none of these policy options would accomplish Trump’s goal of ending non-white immigration to the United States.
Trump is lying about the MS-13 “invasion,” and it is vital to do what Ali Velshi has done and let no lie, no matter how big or small, go unchallenged.
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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