There have been countless rumors and scandals surrounding the 2016 election and Donald Trump’s ostensible victory for the Republican party. Many journalists and political analysts claim that Trump’s shocking rise to power is invariably linked to his ability to spin a false claim and manipulate the national conversation.
Fearmongering has played an integral role in American politics since well before the Reagan Administration. As any advertiser can tell you, fear sells. As a president, Trump has misused his platform to repeat false claims with the indifference of a confidence man. Glenn Kessler, a fact-checker with The Washington Post, has even invented a new designation for politicians like Trump: The Bottomless Pinocchio. As Kessler explains in his article, “Trump’s willingness to constantly repeat false claims has posed a unique challenge to fact-checkers. Most politicians quickly drop a Four-Pinocchio claim, either out of a duty to be accurate or concern that spreading false information could be politically damaging. Not Trump. The president keeps going long after the facts are clear, in what appears to be a deliberate effort to replace the truth with his own, far more favorable, version of it.”
From abortion to health care to immigration, the Republican party has benefited from the president’s bold and impulsive political tactics. On April 29, 2019, the nation was shocked by the Trump Administration’s latest attempts to modify the asylum process without first seeking congressional action. Mere weeks later, the White House declared that Congress doesn’t have the power to investigate the president’s actions. This game of chicken isn’t just shaking up the political landscape, it’s also harming countless innocent citizens and desperate migrants.
CNN Fact-Checks President Trump
On May 8, 2019, President Trump hosted a rally where he passionately reiterated several false claims to galvanize his most ardent supporters. Holmes Lybrand, a fact-checker for CNN, was in attendance, and wrote an article reviewing the president’s latest claims about Puerto Rico and the legal immigration process.
President Trump told his audience that Puerto Rico had received $91 billion – the “highest amount ever given to anybody for disaster relief – after the island was devastated by two hurricanes in 2017.
In his report, Lybrand counters this claim by listing the following facts:
- Only $42 billion in federal disaster relief funding has been allocated to Puerto Rico.
- Only $12 billion has been spent.
- $91 billion is how much FEMA estimates it would cost the government to rebuild Puerto Rico.
- The government spent $114.5 billion after Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast in 2005.
The President also stated that migrants can obtain asylum so long as they claim they are fearful of returning to their country, adding that foreign powers can decide who enters the US visa lottery system.
Lybrand dispels these mistruths with the following facts:
- Seeking asylum is an incredibly difficult process.
- Candidates need to submit an application and go through a rigorous background check.
- Candidates need to demonstrate a “credible fear” to obtain asylum.
- In 2017, only 26,568 candidates – 18% of the total applications – were granted asylum.
- DHS wants Border Patrol agents to assess all initial claims for refuge, furthering complicating the process.
The US Diversity Visa Program
According to President Trump, other “countries put people in a basket if the United States is accepting people courtesy of a lottery system. If they’re accepting people under a lottery system, do you actually think the country is giving us their finest?”
In his article, Lybrand lists a few truths to counter this dangerous misconception:
- Other countries do not have the power to choose applicants or influence the overall process.
- The purpose of this program is “designed to increase the diversity of immigration to the US from countries that most immigrants to the US don’t come from.”
- All applicants for the US Diversity Visa program apply through the US State Department.
- Even if an applicant is selected, they still need to apply for the diversity visa green card and complete the standard background check process.
Seeking Asylum? Schedule a Consultation Today.
The president is not afraid to lie about migrants or the immigration process to consolidate his power base and please his party. However, the law is the law. At Guerra Sáenz, PL, our Boca Raton immigration attorneys take great care in keeping up-to-date with this administration’s fluctuating immigration policies. If you’re an asylum-seeker, it’s important to know that your rights are protected under the Refugee Act of 1980 and the 1967 United Nations Protocol on Refugees. If you’re attempting to escape persecution from your country, contact our experienced and compassionate legal team today. We can assist you with the application process and guide you through each step of your legal journey.
We can help you defend your path to citizenship. Call Guerra Sáenz, PL today at (888) 936-3228 schedule a consultation.