Trump Says He Will “Never Take The VA Private” Moments After Promising To Privatize Significant Parts Of It

Trump has often lambasted the Veterans Administration and Hillary Clinton’s support of the organization. Last night at the NBC Commander In Chief Forum, Hillary Clinton made the not entirely true statement that Trump would privatize the VA.

“I will not let the VA be privatized,” Clinton said. “I do think there is an agenda out there, supported by my opponent, to do just that. I think that would be very disastrous for our military veterans.”

Does Trump support privatizing the VA? The answer is mixed, though Donald Trump himself dismissed the idea. Trump’s VA reform policy does support allowing veterans to visit and use private hospitals.

“Under a Trump Administration, all veterans eligible for VA health care can bring their veteran’s ID card to any doctor or care facility that accepts Medicare to get the care they need immediately,” his policy promises.

“And by the way, I never said take the VA, the Veterans Administration, private,” Trump told the forum on Tuesday. “I wouldn’t do that. Too much respect for our people. I heard it was said that I said that. I would not do that. But I do believe, I do believe, when you’re waiting in line for six, seven days, you should never be in a position like that. You go out, you see the doctor, you get yourself taken care of.”

What is going to a private doctor except privatizing the VA? Trump’s plan says that a veteran could completely bypass the VA system if they prefer to visit a private doctor. “Mr. Trump will ensure every veteran has the choice to seek care at the VA or at a private service provider of their own choice,” Trump’s plan says.


Trump Immigration Speech Vol. 6: Illegal Immigrants Have Not “Stolen Countless Lives”

Donald Trump loves a good anecdote, especially when it involves a disliked minority killing an upstanding white American citizen. Trump’s immigration speech was no exception, and he has often used anecdotal evidence of illegal immigrants committing violent crimes to support his demonizing of them as a group.

“Countless innocent American lives have been stolen because our politicians have failed in their duty to secure our borders and enforce our laws like they have to be enforced,” Trump said last Wednesday.

The number of lives that have been stolen can be counted. They are not countless. While it is true that American citizens have been murdered by undocumented immigrants, to use hyperbole like the word “countless” is lazy and irresponsible. Each one of the lives that were taken matter, and it seems rather heartless to just chalk up a person’s life to “countless lives.”

That being said, Trump is intentionally using an appeal to emotion to cover up the fact that he is wrong on the number of illegal aliens that are criminals. As of 2009, only 179,000 of the approximately 11 million undocumented immigrants were incarcerated, about 1.6% of the population. In contrast, the incarceration rate for citizens is 2.2%. The Congress Research Service found that the vast majority of crimes were non violent.

Compared with similar low income populations in border towns and New City, NBC cites two studies that show that undocumented immigrants are more law abiding and less violent that their citizen partners of similar socio-economic status.

Illegal immigration is at its lowest level since 1972, save movement from the recession in 2011. A much larger portion of the people coming over the border can be described as families and children that are fleeing the gang and drug violence along the border, not exactly hardened criminals. Not mention that the Obama administration has deported more immigrants than any other administration in history, not exactly “failing in their duty to secure our borders.”

While it is inevitable that some undocumented immigrants are committing violent crimes against US citizens, it is deplorable to exaggerate the facts by saying that “countless lives have been stolen.” Those lives can be counted, and they are less than have been “stolen” by the citizen population at large. It is disgusting and pandering that Trump is trotting out the families of slain citizens, disrespecting their memories in the worst way.


Trump Immigration Speech Vol. 5: Obama And Clinton Have Not Been Derelict in Deporting Illegal Immigrants

In our ongoing fact checking of Donald Trump’s immigration speech, we come to a real contradiction in Trump’s attacks on the Obama administration’s dedication to deporting illegal immigrants.

“President Obama and Hillary Clinton have engaged in gross dereliction of duty by surrendering the safety of the American people to open borders,” Trump said last week. “You know it better than anybody right here in Arizona. You know it.”

Firstly, Hillary Clinton had no duty whatsoever as Secretary of State concerning open borders, so she couldn’t really be derelict of them. The State Department is not responsible for the enforcement of immigration policies.

Secondly, the Obama Administration has deported more illegal immigrants than any other administration in history. How that amounts to “dereliction of duty” is anyone’s guess. Donald Trump did not address the matter. The Obama Administration has been dedicated to quickly returning new illegal immigrants and those with criminal backgrounds.

Hillary Clinton has promised to continue the policy of focusing on dangerous criminals for deportation, though softening a stance on a path to citizenship for immigrants that have productively been in the country for long periods. It is not “surrendering the safety of the American people to open borders,” rather it is largely keeping intact the policies of the Obama Administration which, again, have deported more people during his time as President than any other.


Trump Immigration Speech Vol. 4: Literally Every Word of Trump’s Assessment of Clinton’s Immigration Plan Is a Lie


Donald Trump outlined some of his own policies in this momentous speech, but it wouldn’t be a Trump speech if he didn’t take some shots at his opponents by completely misrepresenting their platform. Trump made several claims about the future immigration policies of a President Clinton, let’s check out what the candidate herself has promised compared to Trump’s assertions.

“Hillary Clinton has pledged amnesty in her first 100 days, and her plan will provide Obamacare, Social Security, and Medicare for illegal immigrants, breaking the federal budget,” Trump said in Phoenix on Wednesday.

Hillary Clinton has not pledged amnesty in her first 100 days. She has pledged “comprehensive immigration reform with a pathway to full and equal citizenship” in her first 100 days, a far cry from the “amnesty” that Trump claimed.

Her plan will not provide Obamacare for illegal immigrants. She has stated that if an immigrant can afford to buy insurance off of the exchange she supports that, but federal subsidies for illegal immigrants will not be available. “We should let families—regardless of immigration status—buy into the Affordable Care Act exchanges. Families who want to purchase health insurance should be able to do so,” Clinton said on her website.

Hillary Clinton’s plan would not allow illegal immigrants to collect Social Security or Medicaid. Clinton does support some worker programs that would force non-citizen immigrants to work and pay into the system, but would not be eligible to receive benefits unless they had paid in for many years. They would not in any way be eligible for Medicaid.

Since literally everything that Trump said in this statement about Clinton’s plan is false, it would unlikely be “breaking the federal budget.” Any more than the budget already is broken, I suppose.


Trump Immigration Speech Vol. 3: There Are Not 30 Million Illegal Immigrants in the US

Donald Trump likes to dispute facts and figures, even when they are well accepted. At his Immigration speech this week he addressed the difficulty in knowing the number of illegal immigrants in the US by wildly inflating and deflating the actual number, throwing doubt upon very credible data from the Department of Homeland Security.

“The truth is, the central issue is not the needs of the 11 million illegal immigrants or however many there may be — and honestly we’ve been hearing that number for years. It’s always 11 million. Our government has no idea. It could be 3 million. It could be 30 million. They have no idea what the number is,” Trump told the crowd Wednesday in Phoenix.

The government actually does have a pretty good idea of the number of illegal immigrants, and that pretty good idea is around 11.4 million as of 2012. Trump really has been hearing that number for years, as that was the last time the estimate was made by the Department of Homeland Security. In fact, that number is probably high, as the number of illegal immigrants has been falling in recent years. Pew Research put the number at 11.3 million and the Center for Migration Studies put the number at 11 million while even the conservative Center for Immigration Studies estimates 11-12 million. All pretty close to the “official” number.

Trump has provided no evidence to back up his wild claim that there are 30 million illegal immigrants in the US. That would mean about 1 in 12 men, women and children in the US are illegal immigrants, an absurd and baseless claim. It’s possible that Trump saw the number in Ann Coulter’s book Adios America, where she basically makes up a number based on speculation about money sent to Mexico be a tiny sample set in New Jersey. That seems like a much more legit way for our President to be informed, rather than the Department of Homeland Security and Pew Research.


Trump Immigration Speech Vol. 2: We Are Definitely Not Seeing A “Record Pace” of Immigration

Just hours after an impromptu meeting with Mexico’s President Nieto, Donald Trump flew into Phoenix to give an anticipated speech attempting to clarify his position on illegal immigration.  Trump repeated many lies, but trotted out some new ones to try out on the American people as well. We’ll start near the beginning with an a lie that is central to Trump’s immigration platform: illegal immigration is high and getting worse.

“But if we’re going to make our immigration system work, then we have to be prepared to talk honestly and without fear about these important and very sensitive issues,” Trump told the crowd. “For instance, we have to listen to the concerns that working people, our forgotten working people, have over the record pace of immigration and its impact on their jobs, wages, housing, schools, tax bills and general living conditions.”

As Trump rues the pitiable state of America in so many ways, it again turns out that the numbers do not bear out his dismal view of the US. Far from a “record pace of immigration,” there are actually fewer Mexican immigrants in the US now than in 2009.

From 2009 to 2014 more Mexican immigrants returned to their home country than came to the US. According to the 2014 Mexican National Survey of Demographic Dynamics study, approximately 1 million Mexicans went back to Mexico, largely to reunite with their families. According to the US Census, approximately 870,000 Mexicans entered the US.

That is a net loss of 130,000 individuals, hardly a “record pace of immigration.”


More Mexicans Leaving Than Coming to the U.S.

Trump Immigration Speech Vol. 1: Trump and Nieto Can’t Even Agree Whether They Talked About Paying For The Wall

trump nieto

We’ll get to the meat of this speech starting tomorrow, but I would be remiss if the topic of Trump’s impromptu meeting with Mexico’s President Nieto was not discussed. Seemingly out of nowhere on Monday Trump decided to accept an offer of a meeting with Nieto scheduled for yesterday. This came just hours before one of the biggest speeches of the Trump campaign given last night, where Trump hoped to clarify his position on illegal immigration.

While the meeting was behind closed doors, Trump and Nieto immediately held a very lukewarm press conference afterward, where both men read prepared statements from cards. Trump told a reporter immediately after the press conference that he and President Nieto didn’t discuss who was going to pay for The Wall.

“Who pays for The Wall? We didn’t discuss,” Trump. “We did discuss The Wall. We didn’t discuss payment of The Wall. That’ll be for a later date.” Building The Wall and making Mexico pay for it has been a central tenet of Trump’s campaign since its inception.


President Nieto disagrees. He said after the meeting in a tweet that they definitely did talk about who was going to pay for The Wall, and it wasn’t going to be Mexico. “At the start of the conversation with Donald Trump, I made it clear that Mexico will not pay for the wall,” he said.

Trump spokesman Jason Miller said that the meeting “was not a negotiation” and that it would be “inappropriate” to discuss those matters now. He did not elaborate further on how that statement doesn’t make any sense. It was a negotiation and an official meeting seems like the perfect time to discuss a main issue of your candidate involving both parties. “It is unsurprising that they hold two different views on this issue, and we look forward to continuing the conversation,” Miller said, leaving me wondering how it is unsurprising that Trump can’t remember what they talked about in the meeting.

In any case, Trump was supposed to be building a bridge to build The Wall, and this disagreement points to the futility of Trump’s plan. Trump and Nieto can’t even agree on whether or not they merely discussed who is going to pay for The Wall, much less who is going to actually pay for it. Instead of beginning a friendship, Trump has made Nieto look like a fool and showed Mexico’s President that Trump is an inveterate liar who probably shouldn’t be trusted in the future.