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Fact verify: Trump continues to be falsely claiming that Mexico is paying for his border wall

Running for reelection 4 years later, the President is now declaring at his rallies that Mexico is certainly paying for the wall.

“And by the way, Mexico is paying,” Trump mentioned at a rally in Sanford, Florida, on Monday. “They hate to say it: Mexico is paying for it.”
“And Mexico is paying for the wall, by the way. You know that. I’ve been saying it. They hate to hear that. But they’re paying,” Trump mentioned at a rally in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, on Tuesday.

“And as I said, Mexico is paying for the wall,” he added at a rally in Des Moines, Iowa, on Wednesday.

Facts First: This is a lie. Mexico hasn’t contributed any cash towards the development of the border wall. The wall is being funded by the US authorities.

“It is, so far, all American taxpayers’ money,” mentioned Tony Payan, director of the Center for the United States and Mexico at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy.

“As far as I know, there is no basis for President Trump’s comments that Mexico will pay for the wall, period,” mentioned Stephen Yale-Loehr, professor of immigration observe at Cornell Law School. “They have not in the past, and I have not seen anything to indicate a change in the future.”

Trump has been making this declare since earlier in his time period. It has by no means been true.
The wall has been funded partly with US federal cash appropriated by Congress and partly with US federal cash Trump has unilaterally — and controversially — diverted to the challenge from different applications. According to an official replace emailed to CNN in September by US Customs and Border Protection, Trump is utilizing $6.Three billion diverted from counter-narcotics funding, $3.6 billion diverted from navy building funding, simply over $600 million from the Treasury Forfeiture Fund and simply over $5 billion in immediately appropriated funds. (There are ongoing authorized challenges about Trump’s use of funds that weren’t immediately appropriated.)

As of September 18, 331 miles of wall had been constructed underneath Trump, in accordance with the official replace. Of these, 9 miles had been constructed the place no major obstacles existed earlier than; 295 miles had been constructed instead of previous obstacles the federal government says had been “dilapidated and/or outdated”; 27 miles had been new “secondary wall” to bolster major obstacles.

The Mexican authorities has helped the Trump administration on immigration in different important methods. For instance, it has deployed 1000’s of federal forces to intercept migrants earlier than they attain the US. Some analysts have described this effort as a de facto wall.

Still, Trump’s wall is a bodily challenge that prices billions of {dollars}. And that cash is coming from Americans.

Varying explanations

Trump has generally made extra false claims about how the wall is being funded.

In February, Trump claimed that “redemption money” from undocumented immigrants was paying for the challenge. Experts on immigration coverage mentioned that “redemption money” is just not even an actual time period — and so they mentioned Trump was nonetheless fallacious even when he meant remittance cash, the funds immigrants ship again to their international locations of origin; Trump by no means carried out his 2016 marketing campaign proposal to tax remittances to fund the wall.

Moments after he claimed on the Monday rally that Mexico is paying for the wall, Trump mentioned, “We’re putting a border tax on for cars and trucks that go across. It’ll much more than pay for our wall. Starting soon.” He mentioned the identical on the Tuesday rally: “You know, we’re putting a charge on where the cars go through. And it’ll more than pay for the wall.”

He made related feedback in August — however the specialists we contacted on Tuesday mentioned they nonetheless didn’t know what Trump was speaking about.

“I haven’t heard any concrete proposals for a border tax to pay for the wall,” Andrew Selee, the president of the Migration Policy Institute suppose tank, mentioned in an e mail. “It may just be the kind of campaign rhetoric that always springs up at election time, or maybe the President has a new proposal for a border tax in mind, but this doesn’t appear to have been a policy proposal from the White House or any agency that I know of.”

The White House declined to remark Tuesday on our request to clarify how Mexico is paying for the wall or to supply any specifics in regards to the supposed “border tax.” The Trump marketing campaign didn’t reply to our request for remark.

CNN’s Priscilla Alvarez contributed to this text.

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