In this week’s fact-checking video, CNN’s Jake Tapper and FactCheck.org explain why President Donald Trump was wrong when he said southwest border apprehensions increased under past administrations.
Trump made the claim during a July 28 speech to law enforcement officials in New York. “You know, the border is down 78 percent,” he said, referring to the percentage of people caught trying to illegally cross the U.S. border with Mexico. “Under past administrations, the border didn’t go down, it went up.”
It’s accurate that border apprehensions have significantly declined during Trump’s first five months in office, but it’s not quite a 78 percent reduction. They went down 58 percent when comparing the first full five months under Trump in 2017, from February to June, with the same five-month period in 2016.
However, Trump was wrong when he said that “under past administrations, the border didn’t go down, it went up.” Border apprehensions decreased under Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama. Before Trump took office, apprehensions had dropped 75 percent from the peak of 1.64 million in fiscal year 2000 to about 409,000 in the most recent fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, 2016, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection data.