Blog ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF
From the September 1 edition of CNN's Anderson Cooper 360:
DON LEMON (HOST): Donald Trump laying out his immigration plan in a speech tonight in Phoenix. Now, our CNN Reality Check team takes a look, here is our Tom Foreman. What do you have for us, Tom?
TOM FOREMAN: Hey Don, you know the central theme of all of this, a big theme, was that among all the undocumented people in this country, there are a lot of dangerous criminals.
FOREMAN: 2 million. That is a whopping number, but analysts say to get to that number of criminals among this population, you basically have to count every possible infraction including traffic tickets. Maybe it is more realistic to look at this number from the Migration Policy Institute.
1.4 million people on the priority list for apprehension for more serious offenses, or maybe you should even look at this number, 690,000 convicted of felonies or serious misdemeanors. That's another estimate that is out there. That seems credible in all of this. Still a big number, but only about a third of what Trump says.
Nonetheless, he says he wants to go after them, he wants a task force to really crackdown on this population out there. The problem is one started just a year ago under the immigration office there. Priority Enforcement Program, that is what they call it, and it is aimed at getting the worst criminals off of the street.
It's a big job. Maybe he will make it better. Maybe he will put more agents out there as he promised. Maybe he will do that on day one in terms of getting that started, so we can't say otherwise. That that part of the claim is true, but to the extent that none of this is going to produce immediate results, it simply can't. It is too big of a job. It is also misleading.