Less than 12 hours after President Donald Trump addressed the nation about a manufactured “crisis” along the U.S.-Mexico border, his preferred morning news show, Fox & Friends, had already begun repeating his inaccurate, fear-mongering talking points with added dramatic effect.
Host Ainsley Earhardt spoke directly to viewers during a segment of the show Wednesday morning, suggesting “those illegals” crossing the border were coming to the United States to sell dangerous drugs, rape, attack people with hammers, and murder innocent children — and American citizens were paying for them to do it.
“You’re spending about a little more than $80,000 over the course of one of those illegals’ lifetime[s] to keep them here in the United States, you’re paying for them, and you’re working hard to pay for them,” Earhardt said. “Then you look at the numbers of people who are doing illegal drugs here — illegal drugs are coming from the southern border and the president highlighted that last night — and then you hear him talk about–he said something like ‘imagine if this were your child that were killed by an illegal alien….'”
Earhardt then proceeded to describe in detail the gruesome deaths of Americans killed by undocumented or suspected undocumented immigrants, as the president had the night before.
Ainsley Earhardt tells the Fox audience that they’re footing the bill for “one of those illegals” to come here, do drugs, rape you, then murder both you and your children. pic.twitter.com/1SgCuGd9ja
— Bobby Lewis (@revrrlewis) January 9, 2019
During his nearly 10-minute speech from the Oval Office Tuesday night, Trump similarly pushed misleading or false talking points about the border, labeling immigrants as criminals in an attempt to persuade the public of the need for a southern border wall.
“Over the years, thousands of Americans have been brutally killed by those who illegally entered our country and thousands more lives will be lost if we don’t act right now,” Trump said. “How much more American blood must we shed?”
Multiple studies have shown immigrants are no more likely to commit crimes than native-born Americans or U.S. citizens. In 2018 alone, four separate studies concluded there is no direct link between illegal immigration and violent or non-violent crime rates over the last three decades.
In his speech Tuesday night, Trump also blamed the opioid epidemic on the illegal drugs that cross the southern border for “poisoning” innocent Americans.
“Every week 300 of our citizens are killed by heroin alone, 90 percent of which floods across from our southern border,” Trump said.
Earhardt’s co-host Steve Doocy repeated that claim Wednesday morning while discussing Trump’s $5.7 billion border wall funding demand. “And then you talk about the drugs — look at the cocaine. Close to 50,000 pounds came over,” he said. “About 5,000 pounds of heroin. Over a quarter million pounds of marijuana. Methamphetamine, 67,000 pounds, and fentanyl, 1,300 pounds. Two milligrams can kill a person.”
The majority of drugs that come across the border, as border officials themselves have admitted, pass through legal ports of entry, smuggled in trucks or other vehicles, meaning a border wall would likely do nothing to stem their flow.
Trump is currently waging a war with Democrats over funding for his proposed border wall, which some estimates claim will cost anywhere between $21 billion and $70 billion. That battle led to a shutdown last month, after Republicans in Congress, hoping for at least $5 billion in wall funding, were unable to find common ground with Democrats, who have refused to acquiesce to Trump’s demands.
Rumors circled ahead of Trump’s speech this week that the president might declare a national state of emergency at the border, in order to suspend normal order and build the wall regardless of Democratic opposition. The president avoided that topic Tuesday night, but White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Wednesday that such a move was “certainly still an option, something that’s on the table.”