Trump tweets incorrect immigrant crime statistics in defence of Mexico border wall

Donald Trump has tweeted incorrect criminal statistics on immigration in as effort to support his border wall and publicly pressure Democrats to hand over $5.6bn (£4.4bn) for its construction.

The US president said on Saturday: “23 per cent of federal inmates are illegal immigrants. Border arrests are up 240 per cent. In the great state of Texas, between 2011 and 2018, there were a total of 292,000 crimes by illegal aliens, 539 murders, 32,000 assaults, 3,426 sexual assaults and 3000 weapons charges,” adding: “Democrats come back!”

Although some of the figures are correct – or close to correct – Mr Trump omitted key clarification that tell a different narrative than the one he is conveying.

For instance, the Federal Bureau of Prisons reported in their November 2018 data that 19.3 per cent of federal inmates are citizens of Colombia, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Mexico, or “other unknown” countries. American citizens make up the rest at around 80 per cent.

Furthermore, a large portion of the federal crimes committed by undocumented immigrants – who are not seeking asylum – are charged with immigration-related crimes. Illegal entry, for example, is considered a federal crime.

As for Texas, Mr Trump’s claim suggested undocumented immigrants were responsible for 292,000 crimes.

However, the figure quoted is actually only for charges filed against undocumented immigrants. The number of convictions against undocumented immigrants is significantly lower.

The Texas Department of Public Safety reports that between June 2011 to December 2018, undocumented immigrants account for 120,000 convictions.

Out of the “539 murders” Mr Trump cited, only 238 resulted in convictions. Of the “32,000 assaults” and “3,426 sexual assaults”, only 13,599 and 1,689 were convicted respectively.

As for the “3000 weapons charges”, there were actually fewer than 2,500 charges brought and only 1,280 were convicted. 

The only correct figure in the tweet related to border arrests, which have risen by 240 per cent.

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