On Tuesday evening, President Donald Trump tweeted a video of then-Sen. Barack Obama arguing against open borders in 2005.
“We are a generous and welcoming people here in the United States, but those who enter the country illegally and those who employ them disrespect the rule of law, and they are showing disregard for those who are following the law,” Obama says in the clip. “We simply cannot allow people to pour into the United States undetected, undocumented, unchecked, and circumventing the line of people who are waiting patiently, diligently, and lawfully to become immigrants in this country.”
Trump tweeted, “I agree with President Obama 100%!”
I agree with President Obama 100%! pic.twitter.com/PI3aW1Zh5Q
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 23, 2018
There’s just one problem — for years now, Trump has been smearing Democrats as “the party of open borders.”
When is the media going to talk about Hillary's policies that have gotten people killed, like Libya, open borders, and maybe her emails?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 10, 2016
Honduras, Mexico and many other countries that the U.S. is very generous to, sends many of their people to our country through our WEAK IMMIGRATION POLICIES. Caravans are heading here. Must pass tough laws and build the WALL. Democrats allow open borders, drugs and crime!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 3, 2018
The migrant ‘caravan’ that is openly defying our border shows how weak & ineffective U.S. immigration laws are. Yet Democrats like Jon Tester continue to support the open borders agenda – Tester even voted to protect Sanctuary Cities. We need lawmakers who will put America First.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 30, 2018
I am watching the Democrat Party led (because they want Open Borders and existing weak laws) assault on our country by Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, whose leaders are doing little to stop this large flow of people, INCLUDING MANY CRIMINALS, from entering Mexico to U.S…..
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 18, 2018
The smear is baseless: the position Obama articulates in the video is similar to the one held by current Democratic members of Congress. For instance, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer have repeatedly indicated they support securing the borders, while simultaneously making clear they oppose appropriating tens of billions of dollars for a border wall that even border patrol agents say isn’t necessary.
Open borders, @realDonaldTrump? The bipartisan immigration bill I authored had $40 billion for border security and would have been far more effective than the wall.
— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) June 21, 2018
While Trump seems to think Obama’s video highlights how Democrats have become supportive of “open borders” over the last 13 years, what it really does is illustrate the dishonesty of his own messaging on immigration.
Earlier this year, Trump rejected a bipartisan immigration deal that included nearly $3 billion in funding for border security measures because he wanted even more money from taxpayers for a wall which he promised repeatedly Mexico would pay for, along with rollbacks on legal immigration. Trump insists his wall must be part of any comprehensive immigration bill, and his refusal to compromise has effectively made it impossible for Congress to do anything about the issue.
While refusing to compromise, Trump has gotten in the habit of lying to his supporters about the status of his wall, repeatedly claiming it’s already under construction when in fact Congress has given him no money for it. Meanwhile, the president continues to brutalize migrants with senselessly cruel policies, including family separation at the border.
Trump has even threatened to deploy the U.S. military against people who are headed toward the southern border, trying to escape desperate conditions in their own countries, while ignoring the fact that claiming asylum at the border is legal under both domestic and international law).