Another State of the Nation Claim False: El Paso Wall Benefit and Crime Rate

Nov 2018
2,553
1,191
Montana
#1
No, border barrier did not bring down crime in El Paso



As he promotes his border wall, President Donald Trump holds up El Paso, Texas, as a successful test case.

"The border city of El Paso, Texas, used to have extremely high rates of violent crime — one of the highest in the country, and considered one of our nation's most dangerous cities," Trump said during his Feb. 5 State of the Union address. "Now, immediately upon its building, with a powerful barrier in place, El Paso is one of the safest cities in our country. Simply put, walls work and walls save lives."

That wasn’t the first time Trump hailed El Paso’s barrier as a solution to crime. And it might not be the last: Trump plans to be in El Paso on Feb. 11 for a campaign rally.

But the claim is not true.

To start, El Paso has not been considered one of the nation’s most dangerous cities. Its violent crime rate has been significantly below the national average compared to cities of similar size. Even more, the violent crime rate went up — not down, as Trump claimed — after the construction of a border fence in the region.

Crime data shows El Paso was not "one of our nation's most dangerous cities"

An FBI tool allows users to view violent crime rates reported by police agencies, from 1985 to 2014. The FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting program classifies four offenses as violent crime: murder and nonnegligent manslaughter, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault.

Every year from 1985 to 2014, El Paso’s violent crime rate was significantly lower than the average for all localities of similar size. (Note: Not all departments reported data every year.)

El Paso falls under the 500,000 through 999,999 population group (24 cities total). Other cities in that group were Tucson, Ariz., Boston, and Fort Worth, Texas.



(graphic)

Immigration and crime researchers told us that El Paso historically has not been regarded as one of the most dangerous cities in the United States



Border fencing did not drive down the violent crime rate

The White House did not respond to PolitiFact’s questions regarding the specific years or barrier on which Trump based his claim. It’s possible that Trump echoed remarks from Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton.

Paxton at a Jan. 10 border security roundtable told Trump that a barrier over 100 miles long was placed in El Paso, and then the crime rate became one of the lowest in the nation. "I think it was under the Bush administration," Paxton told Trump.

In a news release, Paxton’s office later said he was talking about a 131-mile fence completed in 2010. Texas does have about 131 miles of pedestrian fencing. But not all of it is in El Paso, and it’s been added over several periods.

Former President George W. Bush signed the Secure Fence Act of 2006, which called for the construction of barriers at the southwest border, including the El Paso region. About 42 miles of fencing were built in the El Paso Sector between August 2008 and July 2009, said a report from U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

It’s unclear which specific fencing finished in 2010, as Paxton’s office said. Still, Trump’s boast of an immediate crime drop doesn’t hold up.

In 2007, the year before fence construction started, El Paso’s violent crime rate was 417.8 offenses per 100,000 population. From 2007 to 2010, the rate increased 5.5 percent.

From 2007 to 2011, the rate increased 3.2 percent.

It also increased from 2006 to 2011, by 9.6 percent.

Even though the violent crime rate went up after the fencing, that doesn’t necessarily mean that the fence caused the spike, said Charis E. Kubrin, a criminologist at the University of California-Irvine.

Likewise, if the violent crime rate had gone down, it’s improper to say it was just because of the fencing, she said.

"If you really want to make a conclusion in one direction or another, you have to do a study that isolates the impact of a wall on crime, controlling for other factors," Kubrin said.

Empirical data suggests no significant difference in the average violent crime rate in border and non-border metropolitan areas, said a 2016 border security report from the Congressional Research Service.

"The specific impact of border enforcement on border-area crime is unknown, however, because available data cannot separate the influence of border enforcement from other factors," the report said.

Our ruling

Trump said, "The border city of El Paso, Texas, used to have extremely high rates of violent crime — one of the highest in the country, and considered one of our nation's most dangerous cities. Now, immediately upon its building, with a powerful barrier in place, El Paso is one of the safest cities in our country."

Crime data shows that El Paso has not been one of the most dangerous cities in the nation.

From 1985 to 2014, El Paso’s violent crime rate was significantly lower than the average for cities of comparable size.

Border authorities added fencing in the El Paso region in the late 2000s. In the immediate years before and after construction, the violent crime rate went up, contrary to Trump’s claim.

Trump’s statement is inaccurate. We rate it False.
 
Oct 2010
65,503
26,108
Colorado
#2
He's a damned liar and his supporters will not call him out on his lying ever, even when there's no doubt whatsoever that he has lied such as this case.

For me, I have real difficulty with respecting people who not only won't call him out for his obvious lies but who will twist reality to defend them, no matter how egregious they are.

And yes, all presidents, all politicians lie, just not nearly as much as Trump, not close. Compared to Trump, every other president over the last 40-50 years was a truth-teller, and I'm not being hyperbolic.
 
Nov 2018
2,553
1,191
Montana
#3
Followers who lack the capacity for objective analysis of their favored leader are lackeys. They are the ideal supporters of autocrats and dictators because they are blind and subservient. It is ironic that Trump Republicans consider liberty to be so important yet are unable to value freedom of thought in academic institutions, reject the free speech of Trump opponents, respond reflexively to support unquestioningly whatever wild and unlikely assertion Trump makes, and react hysterically to ideas that can be connected with trigger words like "socialism" "tolerance" or "diversity".
 
Nov 2012
10,325
8,475
nirvana
#5
Followers who lack the capacity for objective analysis of their favored leader are lackeys. They are the ideal supporters of autocrats and dictators because they are blind and subservient. It is ironic that Trump Republicans consider liberty to be so important yet are unable to value freedom of thought in academic institutions, reject the free speech of Trump opponents, respond reflexively to support unquestioningly whatever wild and unlikely assertion Trump makes, and react hysterically to ideas that can be connected with trigger words like "socialism" "tolerance" or "diversity".
No. They’re called cult members. Lackeys are just dumb asses. Cult members are true believers. There is nothing more dangerous to any society than a true believer. They live by one absolute.

“He said it. I believe it. That settles it “

This is the mantra of the snowflake that lives by what they feel.
 
Nov 2018
2,553
1,191
Montana
#6
No. They’re called cult members. Lackeys are just dumb asses. Cult members are true believers. There is nothing more dangerous to any society than a true believer. They live by one absolute.

“He said it. I believe it. That settles it “

This is the mantra of the snowflake that lives by what they feel.
Perhaps correct. Trump did compare himself to a messiah "I am the One"
 
Oct 2010
65,503
26,108
Colorado
#7
Perhaps correct. Trump did compare himself to a messiah "I am the One"
Yes he did.

‘I Alone Can Fix It’
Breaking with two centuries of political tradition, Donald Trump didn’t ask Americans
to place their trust in each other or in God, but rather, in Trump.

~snip~

In 2016, Donald J. Trump mounted the stage, and told America that the nation is in crisis. That attacks on police and terrorism threaten the American way of life. That the United States suffers from domestic disaster, and international humiliation. That it is full of shuttered factories and crushed communities. That it is beset by “poverty and violence at home” and “war and destruction abroad.”

And he offered them a solution.

I am your voice, said Trump. I alone can fix it. I will restore law and order. He did not appeal to prayer, or to God. He did not ask Americans to measure him against their values, or to hold him responsible for living up to them. He did not ask for their help. He asked them to place their faith in him.

He broke with two centuries of American political tradition, in which candidates for office—and above all, for the nation’s highest office—acknowledge their fallibility and limitations, asking for the help of their fellow Americans, and of God, to accomplish what they cannot do on their own.

But when Trump said, “I am your voice,” the delegates on the convention floor roared their approval. When he said, “I alone can fix it,” they shouted their approbation. The crowd peppered his speech with chants of “USA!” and “Lock her up!” and “Build the wall!” and “Trump!” It booed on cue, and cheered when prompted. It seemed, in fact, to chafe—eager to turn a made-for-TV speech into an interactive rally, and frustrated by Trump’s determination to stay on script. Not every delegate cheered; some sat stiffly in their seats. But there was no question that the great bulk of the delegates on the floor were united behind Trump—and ready to trust him.

The most striking aspect of his speech wasn’t his delivery, even though his tone often strayed over the line, from emphatic to strident. It wasn’t the specific policies he outlined, long fixtures of his stump speech. It was the extraordinary spectacle of a man standing on a podium, elevated above the surrounding crowd, telling the millions of Americans who were watching that he, alone, could solve their problems.

And the crowd cheered.


More: Trump Claims, 'I Alone Can Fix It' During the Republican National Convention - The Atlantic
 
Dec 2015
14,603
13,510
Arizona
#8
This is a little off-topic but......Anybody here ever BEEN to El Paso, Tx?? Anyone?
Mr. Clara and I have lots of Texas cousins and we have driven through El Paso many times. Before you get even a MILE outside of El Paso there's a distinct ODOR in the air. As you keep driving you finally notice where it's coming from. COWS--thousands and thousands of Holsteins (mostly) all along the highway. Milk Cows--like 30,000. Imagine that is your first impression of El Paso.
Some have referred to El Paso as the armpit of Texas. It is very isolated. Horribly hot in summer which makes that cow-pie smell even more inviting. LOL
Juarez is just over the border. Lots of drugs and crime. The city is VERY VERY (thanks Trump) Hispanic but if you love Mexican food---you'll love the restaurants. That's just my take.
 
Likes: Lyzza
Sep 2015
6,712
3,617
Stage Left
#9
This is a little off-topic but......Anybody here ever BEEN to El Paso, Tx?? Anyone?
Mr. Clara and I have lots of Texas cousins and we have driven through El Paso many times. Before you get even a MILE outside of El Paso there's a distinct ODOR in the air. As you keep driving you finally notice where it's coming from. COWS--thousands and thousands of Holsteins (mostly) all along the highway. Milk Cows--like 30,000. Imagine that is your first impression of El Paso.
Some have referred to El Paso as the armpit of Texas. It is very isolated. Horribly hot in summer which makes that cow-pie smell even more inviting. LOL
Juarez is just over the border. Lots of drugs and crime. The city is VERY VERY (thanks Trump) Hispanic but if you love Mexican food---you'll love the restaurants. That's just my take.
yes i have been there a few times. my brother was stationed at Ft Bliss and his family lived out there. its also high desert which can get cold and snow in winter (its "The Pass" after all).

i never felt unsafe in El Paso, met many very nice and wonderful people in the city and tons of great food.
 
Nov 2018
2,553
1,191
Montana
#10
This is a little off-topic but......Anybody here ever BEEN to El Paso, Tx?? Anyone?
Mr. Clara and I have lots of Texas cousins and we have driven through El Paso many times. Before you get even a MILE outside of El Paso there's a distinct ODOR in the air. As you keep driving you finally notice where it's coming from. COWS--thousands and thousands of Holsteins (mostly) all along the highway. Milk Cows--like 30,000. Imagine that is your first impression of El Paso.
Some have referred to El Paso as the armpit of Texas. It is very isolated. Horribly hot in summer which makes that cow-pie smell even more inviting. LOL
Juarez is just over the border. Lots of drugs and crime. The city is VERY VERY (thanks Trump) Hispanic but if you love Mexican food---you'll love the restaurants. That's just my take.
(aside) There is a remote town in Nevada called Battle Mountain along Interstate 80 that is mostly motels and gas stations. Some years ago, a personality or news program referred to it as the "Armpit of America" (or similar). The town responded with a sign and slogan saying: Make Battle Mountain Your Next Pit Stop
 

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