Ainsley Earhardt is angry.
The Fox & Friends co-host spent the morning fear-mongering with context-free examples of violent crimes allegedly committed by undocumented immigrants in the United States, claiming that “illegal aliens,” once in the country, will commit atrocities against American citizens and their families.
“You’re waking up this morning you’re trying to put food on the table, you’re going to work—many people go to jobs they don’t like—and then you look at the numbers,” said Earhardt. “You’re spending about $80,000 over the course of one of those illegals’ lifetime to keep them here in the United States. You’re paying for them, and you’re working hard to pay for them.”
She blamed undocumented immigrants for the illegal drug flow into the United States—which is largely through official ports of entry—and declared that they pose a danger to American children.
Earhardt cited the president, who on Tuesday said that “women and children are the biggest victims, by far, of our broken system.”
Trump added, “This is the tragic reality of illegal immigration on our southern border. This is the cycle of human suffering that I am determined to end.”
The following morning, Earhardt invoked the same examples used by President Trump, including the story of Kate Steinle and slain California Officer Ronil Singh, who was allegedly killed by Paulo Virgen Mendoza, an undocumented immigrant. (Steinle’s accused killer was acquitted in December 2017, after a jury found that he had accidentally discharged a handgun he had found wrapped in cloth under a bench moments before.)
“The president highlighted the Air Force veteran in California who was raped and murdered and beaten to death with a hammer by an illegal alien,” said Earhardt. “He talked about the Georgia illegal alien that killed his neighbor—beheaded him and dismembered him.” Air Force contractor Marilyn Pharis was, in fact, killed by two men, including Victor Martinez, who was in the country illegally. The second man convicted in her death was a U.S. citizen.
To be clear, some of the examples used by both Trump and Earhardt were welcomed by the families of victims. The family of Georgia beheading victim Robert Page, who was allegedly killed by Mexico-native Christian Ponce-Martinez, “struggled to express what it meant” to them for the president to address it on television.
But in the end, contrary to Earhardt’s tirade of (incomplete) anecdotes, researchers have found that immigrants are less likely to commit crimes than native-born Americans. A 2018 study from the libertarian Cato Institute found the arrest rate for undocumented immigrants in Texas, for example, “was 40 percent below that of native-born Americans.”
Even still, without those facts to pull her back, Earhardt concluded: “You hear all of that and you wonder why Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer are saying it’s immoral to build a wall. They’re saying it’s not a crisis. Look at the video! Listen to the numbers!”