Congressman compares need for border wall to 9/11

Mo Brooks

Rep. Mo Brooks defended the president’s desire to declare a national emergency to obtain funds to build a barrier. | J. Scott Applewhite/AP Photo

Rep. Mo Brooks on Friday defended the need for more border security, including a border wall, by comparing the situation along the nation’s southern border to the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

“Let’s look at 9/11 by way of example. We lost 3,000 people more or less on 9/11,” Brooks (R-Ala.) said on CNN’s “New Day.” “That justified going to war in Iraq, Afghanistan and our troops are still there to varying degrees.”

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“With the southern border, we have at least the loss of 15,000 Americans a year,” the congressman claimed.

President Donald Trump on Thursday said he will declare a national emergency to fund his border wall if he is unable to strike a compromise with Democrats to fund his signature 2016 campaign promise. The president has demanded Congress allocate $5.7 billion to fund his wall, a demand that Democrats have balked at, prompting a government shutdown that is one day away from being the longest in U.S. history.

“If we don’t make a deal with Congress, most likely I will do that. I would actually say I would,” Trump told Fox News’ Sean Hannity on Thursday.

Brooks defended Trump’s desire to declare a national emergency to obtain funds to build a barrier even though he was sharply critical of President Barack Obama for using executive authority for some of his immigration policies. The Alabama lawmaker said on CNN that there was no comparison between the Obama executive actions that he once panned as overreach and the move Trump has discussed making to unilaterally fund his border wall.

In his interview with “New Day,” Brooks misleadingly claimed that 15,000 to 16,000 deaths due to heroin were caused by the drug flowing across the “porous southern border.” He also said 2,000 Americans have been killed by undocumented immigrants, dismissing studies that show undocumented immigrants commit crimes at rates far less than native-born Americans.

Although Brooks claimed Friday that a border wall is needed to stop the flow of heroin into the U.S., that drug and others that come into the U.S. from Mexico are predominantly smuggled into the U.S. at ports of entry, not at areas where there is no border wall.