The whole country is in shock after finding out that Trump lied over and over again in his State of the Union speech. He lied about the economy, about immigration, about abortion and pretty much everything else. Many fact checkers died to bring us this information; let’s make sure they didn’t die in vain. Perhaps the most blatant and obvious:
“The border city of El Paso, Texas, used to have extremely high rates of violent crime — one of the highest in the country, and considered one of our nation’s most dangerous cities. Now, with a powerful barrier in place, El Paso is one of our safest cities.”
Trump appears to be echoing comments he heard from Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton on Jan. 10, but this claim is wrong.
The El Paso Times, in a fact check, said some form of barrier has existed between El Paso and Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, for decades, though Trump appeared to be referring to fencing that was completed in mid-2009: “Looking broadly at the last 30 years, the rate of violent crime reached its peak in 1993, when more than 6,500 violent crimes were recorded. Between 1993 and 2006, the number of violent crimes fell by more than 34 percent and less than 2,700 violent crimes were reported. The border fence was authorized by [President George W.] Bush in 2006, but construction did not start until 2008. From 2006 to 2011 — two years before the fence was built to two years after — the violent crime rate in El Paso increased by 17 percent.”The city had the third-lowest violent crime rate among 35 U.S. cities with a population over 500,000 in 2005, 2006 and 2007 — before construction of a 57-mile-long fence started in mid-2008.
So reality is, as is so often the case, the precise opposite of what Trump claims it is. We’ll put this one up there with his claim that there’s a wall around San Antonio that turned crime rates around when it was built. There is no such wall, of course, nor is San Antonio anywhere near the border. When you have to lie constantly to make the case for the policy you want, you don’t have a case at all.
At this point, wouldn’t it be easier to just list the things he didn’t lie about? It would save time, effort and the lives of fact-checkers.