Democratic presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke made five false statements in an attack on President Donald Trump this week when he was confronted over why he compared the president to the Third Reich.
"I compared the rhetoric that the president has employed to the rhetoric that you might have heard during the Third Reich," O'Rourke said. "Calling human beings an 'infestation' is something we might have expected to hear in Nazi Germany."
"Describing immigrants who have a track record of committing violent crimes at a lower rate than native-born Americans as 'rapists and criminals,'" O'Rourke continued. "Seeking to ban all Muslims, all people of one religion, what other country on the face of the planet does that kind of thing or in our history or in the history of the western world?"
"Putting kids in cages," O'Rourke added. "Saying that neo-Nazis and Klansman, and white supremacists are 'very fine people.'"
O'Rourke's claim that Trump called "human beings an 'infestation'" is highly misleading.
On July 3, 2018, Trump slammed the notoriously hyper-violent MS-13 street gang in a tweet, writing: "When we have an 'infestation' of MS-13 GANGS in certain parts of our country, who do we send to get them out? ICE! They are tougher and smarter than these rough criminal (elements) that bad immigration laws allow into our country. Dems do not appreciate the great job they do!"
Here are just some of the crimes that MS-13 gang members have been implicated in:
O'Rourke's claim that Trump called "immigrants" "rapists and criminals" is also somewhat misleading.
In July 2015, Trump said: "When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you. They’re not sending you. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people. ... It’s coming from more than Mexico. It’s coming from all over South and Latin America."
Trump did not specify a difference between legal immigrants and illegal aliens when he made the remarks, but he did state that "some...are good people," meaning that he did not view all immigrants coming from Latin America as "rapists and criminals."
Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) reported the following criminal charges and criminal convictions numbers for Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) arrests in Fiscal Year 2018:
- Dangerous Drugs: 76,585
- Assault: 50,753
- Burglary: 12,663
- Weapon Offenses: 11,766
- Sex Offenses: 6,888
- Robbery: 5,562
- Sexual Assault: 5,350
- Kidnapping: 2,085
- Homicide: 2,028
- Threat: 1,374
The aforementioned list of crimes only includes approximately one-third of the total types of crimes committed last year that ICE made arrests on. Read the full list here.
O'Rourke's claim that the travel ban is a "Muslim ban" is completely false.
There are seven countries on Trump's travel ban list: Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Yemen, North Korea, and Venezuela.
Only five of the seven countries are Muslim-majority countries. There are also 49 Muslim-majority countries worldwide, meaning that the ban did not apply to 89.8% of Muslim-majority countries.
There is a hint of truth to O'Rourke's claim that the Trump administration is putting kids in cages, but it is severely lacking in context and once that context is added his claim is weak at best.
O'Rourke makes it sound like children being kept in detention facilities is something unique to the Trump administration, when, in fact, the Obama administration did the same thing.
The truth is, kids are separated from the adults they are with when they are taken into custody because immigration officials have to verify that the children are related to the adults and are not victims of human trafficking.
DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen stated this last week in Congressional testimony that the detention rooms that kids are kept in during processing are not, in fact, "cages." Neilsen noted they are "areas of the border facility that are carved out for the safety and protection of those who remain there while they’re being processed."
The most patently false statement that O'Rourke made was his claim that Trump said that "neo-Nazis and klansman, and white supremacists are 'very fine people.'"
The claim, which came from the president's response to the events that transpired in Charlottesville, has been repeatedly debunked.
Trump said, "you had people, and I'm not talking about the neo-nazis and the white nationalists because they should be condemned totally..."