The Promise: Fix America's Immigration System By Building the Wall, Deporting Millions

President Donald Trump rooted his White House bid in a vow to curb immigration, rework the nation's broken system, and deport millions. His repeated condemnation of undocumented immigrants — particularly those from Mexico — featured heavily in his year-long campaign. 

With chants of "build the wall" rising from campaign rallies across the nation, Trump promised repeatedly to deport the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants living here and to make Mexico pay for a "big, beautiful wall" between the two countries. Trump, making unsubstantiated claims of higher rates of crime and violence perpetrated by immigrants, also promised to do away with so-called "Sanctuary Cities," communities that offer a measure of protection from deportation to undocumented immigrants. 

As terror attacks rocked different parts of the world in the months leading up to the election, Trump also said immigration reform would make the nation safer, advocating for a Muslim ban that he later retooled as a travel ban on people from countries with a "history of terrorism." Thus far, executive orders have targeted both legal and illegal immigration.

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“According to the National Academy of Sciences, our current immigration system costs America's taxpayers many billions of dollars a year," President Trump said.

The Facts: Estimating the cost of immigrants is tough, but the study Trump cites on immigration found that first-generation immigrants do cost taxpayers about $57 billion a year. However, second and third-generation immigrants become a boon to government coffers, adding $30 billion and $223 billion dollars a year. The report said immigration was “integral to the nation’s economic growth,” and particularly praised high-skilled workers, who create jobs and have a significant “positive effect” on the economy.

Fact Check: Trump Claims Immigration Enforcement Makes Us Safer. Does It?

“By finally enforcing our immigration laws, we will … make our communities safer for everyone,” President Trump said.

The Facts: Trump, who has often talked about violence committed by undocumented immigrants, has said he'll enforce immigration laws by deputizing local police, but law enforcement experts tell NBC News that this is likely to drive crime up — not bring it down — as communities stop reporting crime and cooperating with the police for fear of deportation.

Police rely on family and friends outing criminals, experts stressed in interviews. 

"It's hard enough to get someone to tell on their friends and family" without threatening them with deportation, one expert said.

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