Shutdown: Trump’s justifications ring false


January 14, 2019 - 9:23 AM

The government shutdown has set a new record for duration, giving President Donald Trump a new item to add to his list of firsts, bests and biggests. Hundreds of thousands of lives and livelihoods are in upheaval — all because Trump insists on $5.7 billion in congressional funding for an unnecessary border wall.

And soon he might have a new claim to fame, as the first president to declare a national emergency over an imagined crisis of immigration.

The U.S. Border Patrol typically measures its performance on immigration enforcement by the number of apprehensions of illegal crossers at the border. From 2010 through 2018, apprehensions have fluctuated but never exceeded 480,000 a year. The annual average for the past nine years is only 387,000. Contrast that with the 1.64 million who illegally crossed in 2000, or the 1.62 million who crossed in 1986, and it’s safe to say today’s problem doesn’t come close to being classified an “emergency.” The decade-long trend suggests crossing attempts are going down.

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