President Trump holds controversial Florida rally, speaks on Puerto Rico, Immigration


Cole Thomas, Editor

President Donald Trump took the stage at a Florida rally and, yet again,  said something controversial.

The issue at hand is the relief funding for both Florida and Puerto Rico. President Trump informed the nation Wednesday that Puerto Rico had received $91 billion from the US federal government in response to hurricanes Irma and Maria in the fall of 2017. Trump went on to state that Puerto Rico should also be “very grateful for Donald Trump”.

But the third person exclamation was not only off base in perspective but in the numbers.

According to the New York Post, the $91 billion number comes from an office of management and budget estimate of the total aid the United States plans to allocate to the southern territory who lacks privation. In reality, the US federal government has spent $11.2 billion on relief in Puerto Rico, with another $40.8 billion having been allocated for the future. And while the $91 billion amount may be true by 2039, the President used this prospective sum to mislead the general population.

So, in summary, that other $50 billion is a ballpark estimate of what FEMA would have to spend to repair Puerto Rico, and not what is planned or has been spent.

President Trump proceeded these statements on relief efforts with talk of what may be the most prevalent hot button issue among US citizens today- immigration.

While critiquing the asylum process, President Trump referred to it as having “loopholes” and how it is easily manipulated by immigrants only having to explain why their country is “a frightening place to be” said Trump.

The reality is the asylum process entails a rigorous application process, strict background check, and a demonstration of ‘credible fear’ of their countries hindrance upon personal well being. Additionally, the denial rate of those who sought asylum grew to a resounding 61.8 percent in 2017, the latest numerical data on the matter.

So, POTUS’ claim of “loopholes” and easy manipulation of the system is not exactly true, as it is evident the asylum process is just as strict as regulated US immigration policy.

But that’s not where the discussion ended.

Trump claimed that other countries “put people in a basket” and decide who is placed in the US diversity visa program.

This was swiftly disproved by Julia Gleatt, a senior policy analyst at the Migration Policy institute.

Gleatt told CNN that “It is not true, people apply through the State Department.”

This statement is true. In that same CNN article, it is explained how individuals who pass the baseline questioning can apply through the State Department. Then, if selected, they go through the same process as those seeking another form of visas, such as for the purposes of work or travel.

So, yet another day, yet another questionable statement(s) made by the 45th President. When approving or disproving his statements, one does not need a strong political ideology to argue points. It’s in the stats and policy as to what the US has or plans to do on these matters.

President Trump And the First Lady arrive in Puerto Rico on October 3, 2017, to reach out to the affected community and help in relief efforts.

The calls from the right will continue to be scrutinized by the left under the current political climate, and the first step towards fixing this domestic issue must begin in the executive, more specifically, his speechwriters’ ability to fact check.