Trump Claims Nearly 12 Million Immigrants May Have Come to US Illegally Over Past Year

© AP Photo / Eugene GarciaIn this Thursday, June 10, 2021, file photo, a pair of migrant families from Brazil pass through a gap in the border wall to reach the United States after crossing from Mexico to Yuma, Ariz., to seek asylum.
In this Thursday, June 10, 2021, file photo, a pair of migrant families from Brazil pass through a gap in the border wall to reach the United States after crossing from Mexico to Yuma, Ariz., to seek asylum. - Sputnik International, 1920, 01.11.2021
Last month, US Customs and Border Patrol announced that its agents had stopped over 192,000 migrants in September, with the total number of encounters for fiscal year 2021 topping 1.7 million – surpassing the record of 1.64 million encounters set in the year 2000.
Former President Donald Trump has claimed that the number of illegal immigrants who crossed the southern border into the US over the past year could be close to 12 million.
“You can multiply times seven. I don’t know if you know that number. So if they have 1.7 [million], they say you multiply times seven. That’s the number that come in unchecked – totally unchecked,” Trump said, speaking to Fox News Host Jeanine Pirro on Sunday.
Trump did not elaborate on where he got the “x7” figure and was not pressed by his interviewer to clarify.

“You’re talking about tens of millions of people over a short period of time. Over a two-year period of time, we would have more than 10 million people coming into our country. Our country can never be the same,” the former president said.

Trump characterised the latest migrant caravan currently making its way through Mexico from that country’s border with Guatemala as “the biggest anyone’s ever seen,” and complained that his signature border wall with Mexico “would’ve stopped them” if construction had not been halted by the Biden administration in January.
“These are rough people. They were going through the Mexican police, who are tough – they’re tough police, they were lined up, they thought they could stop ‘em. You look at that front few lines of the people there on this caravan…now they’re talking about one caravan – 120,000 people are going to be formed, that’s like an army. If you look at that front line they look like they belong in the NFL. In fact they should be signed, some of them for the NFL,” Trump joked.
The former president also accused migrants of bringing drugs into the country. “We had fentanyl down to the lowest number since its founding, because fentanyl if you look, it’s worse than anything. Much of it’s made in China and I had [Chinese President Xi Jinping] just about stopped. I said ‘we’re not doing any business if you’re gonna…’ – all of the sudden they’re making fentanyl like crazy, they’re sending it through the border. The numbers on fentanyl have gone up ten-fold. I had it – not stopped but I had it almost stopped. When we would’ve had the wall completed and a couple of other things I would’ve had it down to almost nothing,” Trump claimed.
Last month, the CBP reported that fentanyl seizures on the southern border had shot up by thousands of percentage points over the past decade, from just two pounds between 2012-2013 to over 7,200 pounds in the first eight months of 2021.
A glass flask filled with pills in a state crime lab in Utah - Sputnik International, 1920, 27.09.2021
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Trump went on to suggest that some of the migrants were bringing “very contagious diseases, many different diseases, not just Covid, quipping that “Covid is peanuts compared to some of these diseases.”
In mid-October, Customs and Border Patrol reported that agents encountered 192,000 migrants during September, with total encounters topping 1.7 million for the fiscal year. About 61 percent of those encountered were immediately expelled back into Mexico or their nation of origin, with others temporarily detained, and smaller numbers, including families and children, allowed into the country after promising to appear at immigration hearings at a later date, or provided temporary housing. In mid-October, US media reported on leaked CBP documents which appeared to show that over 160,000 immigrants had been released into the US since March, over half of them on “notices to report” to immigration authorities.
Texas State Troopers walk across the International Bridge as some migrants line up to depart on a bus as thousands of others await to be processed after crossing the Rio Grande river into the U.S. from Ciudad Acuna in Del Rio, Texas, U.S. September 20, 2021 - Sputnik International, 1920, 29.10.2021
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The Biden administration has been blamed by US conservatives and the leaders of Mexico and Central America for the current crisis at the border. In January, the president revoked nearly a dozen hardline Trump immigration policies, including the former president’s signature border wall and the ‘Remain in Mexico’ programme offering incentives for potential migrants not to come to the United States. Other decisions, including promises to “restore and expand” the US asylum system, and to potentially provide a “path to citizenship” to the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants already living in the US, have prompted hundreds of thousands of people from Mexico and Central America to make the perilous journey north to try to make it into the US.
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