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Wall not answer to immigration issue

President Donald Trump speaks during a tour as

President Donald Trump speaks during a tour as he reviews border wall prototypes, Tuesday, March 13, 2018, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci) Credit: AP / Evan Vucci

If the Trump era has taught us anything, it is that a free press that fact-checks its leaders is vital to our democracy. How disappointing, then, to see sloppy journalism in Newsday when it comes to covering the president on immigration.

In “Trump: Wall to stop 99% of illegal entries,” a March 14 report by The Associated Press on Donald Trump’s trip to San Diego to examine wall prototypes, the president makes the erroneous claim that a Southern border wall would stop 99 percent of illegal immigration.

The story contained nothing to counter Trump’s false claim, even though such data are readily available.

The Center for Migration Studies, an advocacy organization, says that crossing the border is not how the large majority of people enter or stay in the country illegally. Two-thirds enter with a valid visa and then overstay their period of admission. According to the center, immigrants who overstay have exceeded those entering illegally every year since 2007, and there have been half a million more overstays than illegal entries since 2007.

Unless the news reports you provide are written in a more judicious way to counter the misinformation, they risk becoming little more than a transcription service for the president.

Andrea S. Libresco, Mineola