The President recently cited an example of San Antonio as support for a border wall.
“Everybody knows that walls work. You look at different places they put up a wall, no problem. You look at San Antonio,” Trump said. “You look at so many different places. They go from one of the most unsafe cities in the country to one of the safest cities, immediately, immediately.”
President Donald Trump referenced San Antonio and a wall Saturday morning ahead of his scheduled speech later in the afternoon to address immigration and the ongoing government shutdown.
There are a few problems here, including:
- San Antonio has no wall
- San Antonio is 150 miles from the border
- No clear even that can describe San Antonio as safest or unsafest city (even if that were true there would still be a correlation is not causation issue).
Where were the unsafest cities in Texas last year?
- Bellmead (near Waco, not border)
- South Padre Island (Spring Break destination)
- Donna (Rio Grande Valley)
- Oyster Creek (south of Houston, not border)
- Cuero (rural TX between Houston/San Antonio/Corpus Christi, not border)
- Texarkana (East Texas, not border)
- Mathis (rural near Corpus Christi, not border)
- Elsa (Rio Grande Valley)
- Lone Star (rural East Texas, not border)
- Balcones Heights (San Antonio metro, not border)
There is really no correlation with border areas and crime and McAllen, Laredo, Brownsville and El Paso all generally tout their relatively low crime rates.
When FBI data was analyzed in 2017 for the nationwide list in 2017, there were five Texas cities that made the list (Odessa, Balch Springs, Houston, Lubbock, Beamont) none of which is along the border.
I have seen it suggested that perhaps Trump intended to refer to El Paso as a city that went from a higher crime rate to lower – as the same example has been used in other occasions. One difficulty with that is in 2005 (a year before the Secure Fence act of 2006), El Paso was ranked as 2nd safest city over 500,000.