Trump and his Critics on “Lost” Immigration Children — AP Fact Check

President Trump’s critics on immigration policy spread a false alarm that the government took 1,500 immigrant children from their parents and lost them. Here’s a look at a sampling of rhetoric from the president and his detractors over the past week, and the reality behind the statements:

Children in steel cages photos

TRUMP: “Democrats mistakenly tweet 2014 pictures from Obama’s term showing children from the Border in steel cages. They thought it was recent pictures in order to make us look bad, but backfires.” — tweet Tuesday.

THE FACTS: He is correct about widespread misrepresentation of the photos on Twitter.

The photos, taken by AP, were from 2014, during the Obama administration, but were presented by liberal activists as if they showed the effects of Trump’s immigration policy now. The photos were taken at a center run by the Customs and Border Protection Agency in Nogales, Arizona. One photo shows two unidentified female detainees sleeping in a holding cell. It’s not clear that many prominent Democrats spread an Arizona Republic story that used the photos, though some did.

Democrat Antonio Villaraigosa, former Los Angeles mayor now running for governor, tweeted that he was: “Speechless. This is not who we are as a nation.” Jon Favreau, ex-speechwriter for Obama, tweeted: “This is happening right now.” They and others deleted their tweets when they realized the mistake.

Immigrant children separated from their parents

JIM CARREY: “1500 innocent children ripped from their mothers’ arms at our border. Lost in Trump’s ‘system’. — tweet May 27.

THE FACTS: This didn’t happen. Many Trump critics, Carrey among them, misrepresented the fate of nearly 1,500 minors who came to the border — without their parents — and were transferred by U.S. authorities to sponsors in the country.

On that basis, Trump critics are calling the children “lost.” But in that round of calls, the Trump administration actually had a slightly better rate of confirming such children’s circumstances than the Obama administration did in 2016, according to an inspector general’s report — 86 percent versus 85 percent.

By The Associatede Press for CBS NEWS
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