Janet Napolitano: Trump's immigration "crisis" is actually not how the border works

Former Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano called out President Donald Trump for painting an inaccurate and factually incorrect “crisis” on the U.S.-Mexico border on “Salon Talks.”

“The image of rapists and murderers invading us across our border, that's really not the way the border is,” Napolitano told SalonTV’s Andrew O’Hehir. “That colors the public perception of what is being done and has led to this declaration of a crisis at the border.”

She continued, “The data's pretty clear that immigration, be it legal or illegal, is an economic benefit to the United States. The data is also very clear that those who are in the country illegally commit crime, particularly violent crime, at a much lower rate than those who are, say, born in the United States.”

Napolitano, who served as secretary under President Obama from 2009 to 2013, joined “Salon Talks” to assess America’s largest security concerns today. In her new book, “How Safe Are We?: Homeland Security Since 9/11” she offers a report-card style analysis of how America is doing on security against terrorism threats, cybersecurity and election security.

Napolitano also called out Trump’s response to rising white supremacy and hate speech. She said that white nationalists “deserve way more attention than they're getting” when it comes to being a security threat.

“We've now seen the rise of white nationalist groups. We saw them in Charlottesville, by way of example. You can speculate on the reasons for that, but it is a poisonous, hateful ideology that can spread, and has spread.”

She urged Trump to respond. “I'd like them to speak out forcefully and strongly, and just say, ‘This is wrong. It's not consistent with American values,’ and put some resources into research for a prevention and intervention.”

Watch the episode above to hear Napolitano debunk the myth that a U.S.-Mexico border would prevent undocumented immigration and her response to Robert Mueller’s probe into Trump and Russia election interference.

Watch SalonTV, streaming live daily on Salon.com, and YouTube.

Subscribe to SalonTV on YouTube HERE: https://www.youtube.com/salontv

Like Salon on Facebook HERE: https://www.facebook.com/salon

Follow Salon on Twitter HERE: https://twitter.com/salon

Follow Salon on Instagram HERE: https://www.instagram.com/salonofficial

More From This Week on SalonTV