True OR False?
"The federal government has not engaged in (border security) at all."
Rick Perry on border security, speaking at the Fox News Google debate in Orlando on Sep. 22, 2011
Source: Fox News

Editor Findings

  • Truthsquadeditoricon_thumb_flipped_thumb
    Fabrice Florin

    Rick Perry recently claimed that "the federal government has not engaged in (border security) at all." He was speaking at the GOP debate hosted by Fox News and Google on September 22nd, 2011, in Orlando, Fla.

    The Truthsquad community fact-checked this claim from September 28th to October 5th, 2011. Together, we reviewed over a dozen factual documents from multiple, credible sources reporting on this topic (see links to the right). We found overwhelming evidence that the federal government has devoted significant resources to stop illegal crossings of the U.S Mexico border, and has dramatically increased its border patrol efforts in recent years. Furthermore, trusted fact-checking organizations such as FactCheck and PolitiFact came to similar conclusions, after extensive research by their experienced journalists. Based on these results, we find this claim FALSE.

    Here are some of the key facts which led us to reach this finding:
    • The Department of Homeland Security has more than 20,000 border patrol agents (DHS)
    • The number of border security agents has more than doubled over the last decade (CRS)
    • Border patrol appropriations have tripled to 3.5 billion since 2000 (CRS)
    • Obama’s proposed 2012 budget calls for even more border patrol increases (OMB)
    • Deportation and criminal enforcement of illegal immigrants have also increased (TRAC)
    • Perry's own office cites partnerships with federal agencies like the U.S. Border Patrol

    More »

Community Findings

False (1.1)
  • Fabrice Florin
    Fabrice Florin
    Rick Perry's claim that the feds have not engaged in border security is clearly false, based on the overwhelming factual evidence we gathered as a community (see links on the right). These credible reports from the Congressional Research Service, the Department of Homeland Security,, PolitiFact, the State of Texas and the U.S. Border Patrol all confirm that the federal government has devoted significant resources to stop illegal crossings of the U.S Mexico border, and has dramatically increased its border patrol efforts in recent years. Case closed.
  • Kristin Gorski
    Kristin Gorski
    Article after article I found, representing multiple reliable media outlets, feature the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, part of the Department of Homeland Security. It is, without a doubt, a working federal entity actively engaged in protecting borders of the United States. Using these articles alone as evidence (and there is more reliable evidence available), it is clear that Perry's statement is not correct.
  • Ben Schultz
    Ben Schultz
    I live within sight of the border in Jacumba Ca. If you could see the number of border patrol vehicles, helicopter, horse, quads, etc. You would never say anything so foolish. They are everywhere and they bother everybody. This is just silly. We can't afford they incredible amount the Feds are spending on "border security" as it is. To say they aren't doing it?
  • Colleen E Bushey
    Colleen E Bushey
    Rick Perry's statement was false. According to the statistics for CBP the number of "boots on the ground" have increased more each year since 2009.
  • Edward Olson
    Edward Olson
    There are many news stories and video clips indicating the Border Patrol's activities in policing the border. US News and World Report and MSNBC to name two.
  • Fred Gatlin
    Fred Gatlin
    Of course this statement isn false, but does it really matter. Unless media become much more willing to tell what is happening and voters do not care about truth does it really matter.
  • Bob Herrschaft
    Bob Herrschaft
  • Mike Carlson
    Mike Carlson
    This is simply not true. Living in the state most impacted by illegal drug & arms trade I know this to be political claptrap.
  • David B. Brooks
    David B. Brooks
    The government increased the border patrol force and directed the National Guard to provide backup to border forces. both were covered in national news on TV.
  • David Saul
    David Saul
    The border patrol is a federal agency
  • Michael Shaver
    Michael Shaver
    The statement only proves one thing which is Rick Perry does not possess something that all of us take for granted – the ability to pause for that split second and analyze what were going to say before it gets past our lips. In his defense it was late in the debate in he had Rick Santorum nipping at his heels like a rabid Chihuahua. Platitudes like this are every politician's kryptonite all he needed to say was that "the federal government's efforts weren't working".
  • Sarah Mason
    Sarah Mason
    Based on the excerpt provided, you may believe Rick Perry claims the federal government has not provided any support (which is of course false, since border patrol agents are federal employees). However, when reading the transcript provided, the issue discussed is about how to handle immigration, with little emphasis on the lack of federal assistance. The issue is not whether or not the feds provide support, but whether or not anyone has a solution. The main propositions seem to include two main options. The first is the ongoing fence proposition to erect a modern day Berlin Wall. The second is to increase monitoring via border patrol agents (by land, sea, and air). Neither of which are feasible. In one version we become symbolic of the tyranny and oppression we claim to be against, an American "Iron Curtain." In the other version, I envision a childhood game of Red Rover where immigrants still break through, even if we had enough border agents to link hands across all of the southern states. Perhaps additional links regarding other countries throughout history that have dealt with similar issues might be relevant here. It may benefit the population to brush up on their history lessons. No need to repeat what has already been tried...and failed.
  • Jack Dinkmeyer
    Jack Dinkmeyer
    According to Fact Check, this statement is liar, liar, pants on fire! Actually, the opposite is true. Government continues to increase the number of border patrol.
  • Frank Whitman
    Frank Whitman
  • Patricia W. Neal
    Patricia W. Neal
    Where do these people get their information. It appears you can just throw anything out there, and it becomes a fact. The Feds have spent a fortune on border security, starting in the late 90's to the present. Perry should take a behind the scenes tour with the Border Patrol ( as I have in the early 2000's) to see the triple fences at the crossing near Tijuana and San Diego.
  • David Spoonemore
    David Spoonemore
    Mostly False
  • Michael Gill
    Michael Gill
    Homeland Security Budget, DEA Budget
  • Stan Goldstein
    Stan Goldstein
    Texans tell tall tales. Sometimes they don't know the difference. Perry knows.
  • Craig Yoshioka
    Craig Yoshioka
    Clearly false as there are multiple federal agencies that work on this.
  • jejaru sharma
    jejaru sharma
    Mostly False
    at all is vague
  • Felix Odida
    Felix Odida
  • Robert Ikenberry
    Robert Ikenberry
    In Progress
    Have opinion is False, but need to verify to cite sources...
  • Nick Hartranft
    Nick Hartranft
  • David McConnell
    David McConnell
    Anyone who has ever crossed a US border knows that this is a dumb statement. Certainly how effective our border security is can be a subject for opinion and discussion, but to say that the "federal government has not engaged in (border security) at all" is simply totally inaccurate, and a serious misstatement from anyone who aspires to be taken seriously as a Presidential candidate. My source on this is frequent personal crossings of our borders, the last two being within the past month.
  • Joan Underwood
    Joan Underwood
    Mostly False
  • Dylan Easterday
    Dylan Easterday