Whether or not Democratic leaders want to acknowledge the facts, the reality is that we have a security crisis at our southwest border. I've visited the border numerous times and seen with my own eyes the devastating human cost of having a porous border.As you might guess, these numbers are from the Republican National Committee's talking points factory. As you might guess, they are dubious.
By the Numbers:
In 2018, 17,0000 adults with criminal records were arrested by Customs and Border Protection.
6,000 gang members, including MS-13, have been apprehended at the border and removed by ICE.
In 2018, over 17,000 adults arrested at the border had prior criminal records, including 6,000 gang members (many of them MS-13).Also:
In 2018, U.S. Border Patrol apprehended 6,259 immigrants in between ports of entry who had been “convicted of crime, whether in the United States or abroad." Custom and Border Patrol's Office of Field Operations, which monitors ports of entry, encountered another 10,572 immigrants with a previous criminal record. Additionally, ICE deported 5,872 gang members in fiscal year 2018.
Only 1.7% of individuals encountered by the U.S. Border Patrol crossing between ports of entry had a criminal record. No credible evidence has been provided to support the claim that a “major number” of those 6,000 gang members deported by ICE belonged to MS-13.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) considers someone as having a criminal record if that person has “been convicted of crime, whether in the United States or abroad, so long as the conviction is for conduct which is deemed criminal by the United States.” Broadly speaking, the “over 17,000 adults arrested at the border had prior criminal records” claim holds up, but context is important. Of the 17,000 adults referenced here, 63 percent were not attempting to cross the southern border on land between ports of entry, and therefore their inclusion in a “wall” fact post is misleading, as explained by Public Radio International (PRI):* Factcheck.org also debunked Hill's numbers.
A full 63 percent of those individuals were “encountered” by the Office of Field Operations (OFO). Those are the people you meet at the airport and at border crossings. In other words, the “criminal aliens” they encountered were travelers who failed routine checks at legal entry ports and were denied entry.
White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney misleadingly claimed authorities “had arrested 17,000 criminals at the southern border.”Further:
President Donald Trump, too, included this figure in a letter he sent to Congress on Jan. 4, saying “17,000 adults at the border with existing criminal records were arrested” last fiscal year, which ended Sept. 30. The White House, and Mulvaney, used the figure to argue for the necessity of a border wall. But the figure includes more than 10,000 people who were stopped while trying to lawfully enter the country at legal ports of entry throughout the U.S., according to statistics from U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
Here are the facts, according to Customs and Border Protection, through Aug. 31, 2018, one month shy of the full 2018 fiscal year:* Still more debunking from the Washington Post's fact-checker, with Pinocchio's galore
Border Patrol, which is “responsible for securing U.S. borders between ports of entry,” encountered 6,259 “criminal aliens,” immigrants who were apprehended and had been “convicted of crime, whether in the United States or abroad.”
Those 6,259 people stopped by Border Patrol had been convicted of 7,820 offenses, 46.5 percent of which were illegal entry/reentry offenses. More than 1,000 had been convicted of driving under the influence; 816 had been convicted on drug possession or trafficking charges. Three had records for homicide or manslaughter. See the rest of CBP’s breakdown here.
Another 10,572 “criminal aliens” were encountered by CBP’s Office of Field Operations, which handles the 328 ports of entry in the United States, where individuals seek lawful entry into the country.