On January 27, 2019, President Trump tweeted: “We are not even into February and the cost of illegal immigration so far this year is $18,959,495.168. Cost Friday was $603,331,392. There are at least 25,772,342 illegal aliens, not the 11,000,000 that have been reported for years in our Country. So ridiculous! DHS” The clear implication of the President’s tweet is that these numbers come from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
CREW filed a Freedom of Information Act request for records confirming the immigration numbers in Trump’s tweet. These records likely are located within the Office of Immigration Statistics, a component of DHS’ Office of Strategy and Policy.
The requested records will shed light on the accuracy of the President’s numbers, and where they came from. The matter is of great public interest given Trump’s use of these kinds of statistics to justify the need for a wall on our Southern border. The requested records will confirm whether or not the President’s immigration numbers are, as the Washington Post has claimed, “nonsensical figures on illegal immigration.”