On Friday, Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) implied President Trump and others who support building a wall on the southern border of the United States are racist because they don’t push for a wall between the United States and Canada.
Murphy’s utterance was prompted by a tweet from Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) who tweeted, “Border wall ALONE wouldn’t stop illegal migration or drugs. But walls funnel traffic to monitored entry points Airports have barriers to keep people from getting around TSA checkpoints. If we use barriers to keep air travel safe, why wouldn’t we use them to keep country safe?”
Ignoring the data that show the huge preponderance of illegal immigrants into the United States come through the southern border compared to the numbers through the Canadian border, Murphy replied, “Here’s where the analogy breaks down. We have TSA at EVERY airport. You and Trump are advocating putting up a wall on only one border. No wall for the country filled with mostly white people.”
According to the Department of Homeland Security, in Fiscal Year 2018, 521,090 illegal immigrants were apprehended at the southern border, up from 415,517 in Fiscal Year 2017. In Fiscal Year 2016, 553,378 immigrants were apprehended; in Fiscal Year 2015 there were 444,859, and in Fiscal Year 2015 there were 569, 237.
Compare those numbers with these from the northern border of the United States. As USA Today reported in late July 2018:
In the Border Patrol sector that covers 300 miles (480 kilometers) of border with New York, Vermont and New Hampshire, agents have apprehended 324 people who crossed illegally from Canada so far this fiscal year, compared with 165 in all of 2017. Last month, agents apprehended 85 people across the three states, compared with 17 in June 2017 and 19 in June 2016, statistics show. So far this fiscal year, there have been at least 267 apprehensions along Canada’s border with Vermont alone, compared with 132 all of last year, according to statistics compiled by federal prosecutors in Vermont.
In June, Murphy attacked the Trump administration for “government agents ripping crying children out of their mother’s arms.” He stated, “I cannot describe the anger and shame I feel as I read stories about government agents ripping crying children out of their mother’s arms. America shouldn’t behave like a villain. President Trump could end this disgusting practice with a phone call if he wanted, but he won’t. Congress must pass the Keep Families Together Act for these innocent kids, and to show the world – and ourselves – who we really are.”
In 2013, after the Senate passed an immigration reform bill that strengthened border security on the southern border, stipulating that over 10 years, 700 miles of fencing had to be added to the border and the number of Border Patrol agents had to be doubled, Murphy voted for the bill, but commented, “I have no interest in turning this country into a fortress … it essentially militarizes our border. That money would be better spent somewhere else.”