Trump Repeats Lie That ICE Officers ‘Liberate’ Towns From Gang Members

on June 28, 2018 in Mt Pleasant, Wisconsin.
<> on June 28, 2018 in Mt Pleasant, Wisconsin.

President Donald Trump, in an interview aired Sunday, repeated a frequent lie that Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents “actually liberate towns” from gang control.

In a wide-ranging interview with Fox News’ Maria Bartiromo, the pair touched on the recent call by several prominent Democrats — and, left unsaid, several ICE special agents — to eliminate ICE and redistribute what critical immigration enforcement responsibilities the agency currently has to other areas of the government.

“You get rid of ICE, you’re going to have a country that you’re going to be afraid to walk out of your house,” Trump said, though the agency is just 15 years old.

He added: “They go into Long Island, they actually liberate towns. They liberate towns! These are incredible people.”

The Trump administration has never presented proof of ICE “liberating” a town from the American-born gang MS-13’s control despite numerous claims by the President; no such locality exists. The White House did not respond Sunday to TPM’s request for the names of any such towns.

The lie recalls Trump’s bogus claim that there are areas in Paris controlled by religious radicals. “You have sections of Paris where the police don’t even want to go there and they probably have areas where they actually practice Sharia law,” he told Lou Dobbs in 2016.

The American ambassador to the Netherlands, Pete Hoekstra, apologized for a similar lie about Dutch “no go zones” earlier this year.

Trump has frequently lied about the number of MS-13 gang members deported during his time in office. The New York Times noted Sunday the number of MS-13 members in the country is essentially the same as it was a decade ago.

“We have liberated towns like it was captured by a foreign country,” the President falsely said at a recent campaign rally in Duluth, Minnesota. “We have liberated towns out in Long Island.

He made a similarly false claim on Twitter Saturday.

The interview with Bartiromo touched on several other topics including North Korea’s nuclear program and international trade.

“The European Union is possibly as bad as China, just smaller,” the President said at one point, defending his tariffs on U.S. allies. “It’s terrible what they do to us.”

Dear Reader,

When we asked recently what makes TPM different from other outlets, readers cited factors like honesty, curiosity, transparency, and our vibrant community. They also pointed to our ability to report on important stories and trends long before they are picked up by mainstream outlets; our ability to contextualize information within the arc of history; and our focus on the real-world consequences of the news.

Our unique approach to reporting and presenting the news, however, wouldn’t be possible without our readers’ support. That’s not just marketing speak, it’s true: our work would literally not be possible without readers deciding to become members. Not only does member support account for more than 80% of TPM’s revenue, our members have helped us build an engaged and informed community. Many of our best stories were born from reader tips and valuable member feedback.

We do what other news outlets can’t or won’t do because our members’ support gives us real independence.

If you enjoy reading TPM and value what we do, become a member today.

Latest Livewire
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Investigations Desk:
Director of Audience:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: