Those claims were debunked ahead of his address by former GOP Representative Carlos Curbelo (R-FL), who said that while both human trafficking and drug trafficking exist, they do not amount to the “crisis” the president claims exists.
“I visited the Southwest border in 2010 when I was working for United States Senator George Lemieux of Florida,” he said. “There was a crisis back then. Things at the border have gotten a lot better over the last 12 years. We’re seeing the number of people attempting to cross illegally drop dramatically, so no, I would not characterize this as a crisis.”
Former GOP Rep. Carlos Curbelo: No, there's not a crisis at the border pic.twitter.com/ouG53hWWSe
— TPM Livewire (@TPMLiveWire) January 8, 2019
Trump further used the address as an opportunity to fundraise. In an email sent Tuesday afternoon he asked supporters to donate to his “Official Secure the Border Fund” through the Trump Make America Great Again Committee.
“We need to raise $500,000 in ONE DAY. I want to know who stood with me when it mattered most so I’ve asked my team to send me a list of EVERY AMERICAN PATRIOT who donates to the Official Secure the Border Fund,” read the email. “Please make a special contribution of $5 by 9 PM EST to our Official Secure the Border Fund to have your name sent to me after my speech.”
Colbert, for his part, has made headlines for criticizing the president more than once. As recently as December, he said that to “praise anyone’s honesty” is equivalent to “throwing shade at Donald Trump.”