The Current

Trump's border wall 'rhetoric does not add up,' says immigration journalist

Following U.S. President Donald Trump's prime-time Oval Office speech last night insisting a southern border wall is needed, two journalists discuss the efficacy of his message and fact-check his claims.

'He just conflates illegal immigration with legal immigration,' says Cindy Carcamo

U.S. President Donald Trump delivers a televised address in the Oval Office about immigration and the southern U.S. border on the 18th day of a partial government shutdown at the White House in Washington, U.S., Jan. 8, 2019. (Carlos Barria/Reuters)

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Amid the U.S. government's partial shutdown, Donald Trump took to prime time television to make a case for funding a border wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

However, many news outlets took to fact checking the president's statements Tuesday night, noting significant discrepancies.

The rhetoric does not add up," Los Angeles Times immigration reporter Cindy Carcamo told The Current's Anna Maria Tremonti.

"If you look at the policies that have come down quietly through the Trump administration, a lot of it targets legal immigration and not illegal immigration."

A border wall prototype stands in San Diego near the Mexico-U.S. border, seen from Tijuana, Mexico, on Dec. 22, 2018. (Daniel Ochoa de Olza/Associated Press)

The partial government shutdown is in its third week and negotiations appear to be at a stalemate

Democrats now control the House of Representatives and refuse to pass a bill to fund the border wall, which they don't believe will help with border security. 

On Thursday, they passed a bill to re-open the government, which included funding for border security but not the wall. However, that bill was shot down in the Republican-controlled Senate.

According to Washington Post national correspondent Philip Bump, Trump was simply reiterating the same argument that he's made many times before — that it will protect Americans and save thousands of lives.

"It's just remarkable that he thinks it's still effective," said Bump.

"He keeps making the same case. And I think in part it's simply because it's worked before and he's sort of hoping it will work again."

Click 'listen' near the top of this page to hear the full conversation.

Written by Lito Howse. Produced by Idella Sturino and Howard Goldenthal.