President Donald Trump on Friday declared a national emergency at the U.S.-Mexico border, moving to secure more money for his long-promised wall.

Our VERIFY researchers fact-checked claims made throughout the announcement:

“We’ve been losing, on average, $375 billion with China. A lot of people think it’s $506 billion….”

Verified - but reflects 2017 numbers instead of 2018.

President Trump’s claim is backed up by data from the United States Census Bureau. Their charts show U.S. trade with China broken down by imports and exports. In 2018, the U.S. had a negative $382 billion trade with China. Trump’s number matches the 2017 data, which showed a $375 billion deficit to China.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau

“A lot was done in the first summit. No more rockets going up, no more missiles going up, no more testing of nuclear.”


North Korea announced the suspension of testing nuclear weapons and intercontinental missiles in April. North Korea has not conducted a missile test since Nov. 28. 

“When you look and when you listen to politicians, in particular certain Democrats, they say it all comes through the port of entry. It's wrong. It's wrong. It's just a lie. It's all a lie.”


Reports by Customs and Border Protection show that 87 percent of drugs seized came through legal ports of entry or airports, not from people illegally crossing the border.

The president’s former Secretary of DHS and Chief of Staff, John Kelly said repeatedly that illegal drugs “mostly come through the ports of entry.”

Source: U.S. Customs and Border Protection 

“They say walls don't work. Walls work 100 percent.”


While the president doesn’t specify which specific walls or barriers he’s referring to, a 100 percent claim requires there to have been no instances of someone crossing the barrier. Since there have been numerous examples of the southern border barriers being climbed, dug under or driven around the claim that they work 100 percent are false.

Source: WUSA9

“When the wall went up, was it better? You were there, some of you...It was not only better; it was like 100 percent better.”

False - the number is off and misses key context.

Data from the Customs and Border Patrol show that from 2000 to 2017, apprehensions dropped by 80 to 90 percent in all border zones where information was shared. 

For example, there were 115,696 apprehensions in El Paso in 2000. Seven years later in 2017, there were 25,193 apprehensions. 

This was also the trend in San Diego. There were 151,681 apprehensions in 2000 and 26,086 apprehensions in 2017, according to the CBP data. 

In Yuma, there were 108,747 apprehensions in 2000 and 12,847 in 2017.

The claim leaves out the fact that apprehensions dropped everywhere - not just in border sectors with barriers. 

Source: U.S. Customs and Border Protection 

“I want to thank Mexico. They have their own problems. They have the largest number of murders that they've ever had in their history, almost 40,000 murders. 40,000.”

Verified - 2018 had the highest number of murders in Mexico, but Trump’s number is slightly off.

Mexico’s Public Safety Secretary posted data showing the total number of homicides in Mexico. A chart showing murders in Mexico through November, 2018 listed 40,115 homicides. An updated version of that chart showing murders through December of 2018 listed 50,341 homicides. 

“I'm going to be signing a national emergency. And it's been signed many times before. It's been signed by other presidents. From 1977 or so, it gave the presidents the power.”

Verified - but the act actually became law in 1976.

The National Emergencies Act was signed into law in 1976. Since its creation, 59 national emergencies have been declared including the one Friday by President Trump. This is the fourth national emergency declared by President Trump. President Obama declared 11 over his two terms.There are 32 declarations currently in effect. 

“Last year, 70,000 Americans were killed at least -- I think the number is ridiculously low, by drugs, including meth and heroin and cocaine, fentanyl.”


In 2017, the most recent year for CDC records, there were 70,237 overdose deaths from drugs in the U.S.

“[In China] a drug dealer gets a thing called the death penalty.”


China is one of 33 countries in the world, identified by Amnesty International, that uses the death penalty as punishment for drug trafficking. The exact numbers of how many people are executed for this crime are unknown. China does not publicly share them.