At a campaign stop in New Mexico on Sunday, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump claimed that his rival Hillary Clinton would allow 650 million people to enter the country in just one week.
Warning of his opponent’s so-called “open borders” policy, Trump said that Clinton’s immigration plan would nearly triple the current United States population.
“You know, it would be much easier working for Obama or working for Crooked Hillary because, frankly, when you’re working for Hillary, she wants to let people just pour in,” Trump said at a rally in Albuquerque. “You could have 650 million people pour in and we do nothing about it. Think of it, that’s what could happen. You triple the size of our country in one week. Once you lose control of your borders you have no country.”
Clinton supports a comprehensive immigration reform policy plan to allow millions of undocumented immigrants to pay back fines and taxes at a chance of becoming citizens in the country one day. She has also called for the United States to accept more Syrian refugees, and has said she would not strip away a temporary executive action meant to grant work authorization and deportation deferrals to certain undocumented immigrants.
Trump has previously accused Clinton of being a supporter of “open borders” and “amnesty.” But the Democratic presidential candidate has never said that she would allow in 650 million people.
It’s unlikely that the federal immigration agency could actually let in 650 million people in a year— let alone in a week— or that so many people would want to come into the United States in the first place.
Trump didn’t specify whether the people he’s referring to would be visiting or settling in the United States. But foreign workers in specialty occupations — like scientists, engineers, and Trump’s wife’s occupation as a fashion model — are subjected to quotas capped at around 85,000 visas annually. Temporary workers, like agricultural workers, have quotas set at 66,000 visas per fiscal year. And even when it comes to visitors, there are only about 65 million annual visitors to the United States, according to U.S. Department of State statistics — nowhere near Trump’s 650 million figure.
This is just the latest misrepresentation from Trump, who often uses fearmongering rhetoric about how immigrants will harm the country to stir up support for his harsh, anti-migration policy platform.
The Republican presidential candidate’s proposed policies include the completion of a wall that spans the length of the U.S.-Mexico border, the mass deportation of the country’s undocumented population, and a heavy restriction on the flow of Muslim immigrants and Syrian refugees into the United States.