President Donald Trump interrupted our regular programming to tell us to be very afraid of what he insists against evidence is a "crisis of the heart" and "crisis of the soul" on the southern border, his reaction to which has impetuously shut down swaths of the federal government, jeopardizing airport security and filling our national parks with human feces.
The facts are these. Undocumented border crossings are at a 20-year low.
Contrary to the White House lie that 4,000 suspected terrorists were stopped at the southern border in 2018, the actual number was six. The equivalent figure for the Canadian border: 91. How high, pray tell, will the wall between Minnesota and Ontario be?
As to Trump's incessant claims that people from parts south are bringing drugs, disease and crime, statistics show that immigrants, including undocumented immigrants, are less, not more, likely to commit criminal acts than Americans.
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Yes, many asylum seekers, including children, languish in ill-equipped camps while they wait for their cases to be heard.
Border security matters. Physical barriers can work. Of the 1,000 miles Trump obsesses over, 654 are already covered with security fencing. That can be upgraded and expanded.
But the wall Trump craves, the wall he stupidly promised – beautiful, tall and free! – is an imaginary solution to a fabricated problem.
A nine-minute, talking-point-packed address from the Oval Office changes nothing. He has lost the battle. Open the government now.