During his knock-down, drag-out confrontation with soon-to-be House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer this week over the need for the construction of a border wall, Donald Trump made many false and questionable statements. But he seemed to feel this one was the strongest of his claims:
Trump: “If you look at San Diego, illegal traffic dropped 92 percent once the wall was up, El Paso, illegal traffic dropped 72 percent, then ultimately 95 percent once the wall was up. In Tucson, Arizona, illegal traffic dropped 92 percent. Yuma, it dropped illegal traffic 95 to 96 percent.
He thought he really had a zinger there, as he kept going back to it over and over. Politifact wasn’t able to track down exactly what he was referring to, since pretty much none of “his” wall has actually been built. However, there is already 700 miles of fencing along the border, which began to be built under President Clinton and was then expanded considerably under President George W. Bush.
It’s possible that this was what Trump was talking about, but then again it’s also likely that he’s just parroting a bunch of questionable numbers from InfoWars and he has no idea what any of it really means. If he meant the existing fence, some of his numbers may have been in the correct neighborhood of a ballpark, but correlation is not always causality.