Donald Trump appeared to raise plenty of sceptical, unamused eyebrows in the audience during his State of the Union address on Tuesday.

Mr Trump was later found to have made several false claims according to analysis from non-partisan project Politifact.

In a move that surely surprised absolutely no one, the president also used his speech to reiterate his hard-line approach to immigration.

In the speech, he peddled his old argument implying that illegal immigrants cause violent crime. He called upon Congress to close "deadly loopholes" that have allowed criminal gangs to "break into our country".

He said:

For decades, open borders have allowed drugs and gangs to pour into our most vulnerable communities.

They've allowed millions of low-wage workers to compete for jobs and wages against the poorest Americans.

Most tragically, they have caused the loss of many innocent lives.

He then highlights his case with the stories of two families whose daughters were killed by members of the notorious MS-13 gang.

There is actually no evidence that immigrants raise crime rates. In fact, research points to the opposite.

A report from the Immigration Policy Center suggests that Native-born Americans are more likely to commit crime than Central American immigrants, which constitute the bulk of the unauthorised immigrant population.

Though the report didn't distinguish between illegal and documented immigrants, its findings should not be dismissed. It concluded:

While lawmakers repeatedly justify their crackdown on immigrants as a means of fighting crime, the reality is that crime in the United States is not caused or even aggravated by immigrants, regardless of their legal status.

This is hardly surprising since immigrants come to the United States to pursue economic and educational opportunities not available in their home countries and to build better lives for themselves and their families. As a result, they have little to gain and much to lose by breaking the law.

Further research backs this up: an examination of first and second generation immigrants found they are less likely to commit a crime; and a paper with data spanning four decades concluded that murder, robbery, burglary, and larceny decreased as immigration increased in urban areas.

This is far from the first time the idea that immigrants especially pose a criminal and violent threat has been pushed as a narrative.

Earlier this month, the campaign to re-elect Trump in 2020, Donald J. Trump for President, released a controversial re-election campaign ad that accused Democrats of being "complicit" in killings by illegal immigrants.

The provocative video is centred around a courtroom outburst from Luis Bracamontes, an undocumented immigrant accused of killing two sheriff's deputies in October 2014.

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