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Immigration concerns -- from a flood of unaccompanied Central American children showing up at the Texas border to claims that illegal immigrants are responsible for thousands of murders – are making near-nightly news.
Pundits have plenty to say about who should be doing what, while journalists are scurrying to keep up with both legislative and political responses to immigration.
So we’re devoting today’s PolitiFact Oregon Roundup to the five most recent fact-checks of claims made around the country. Presidents Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama makes appearances, as does the brother of another one, Jeb Bush.
Fox Business News host Lou Dobbs joined some conservatives in saying that Obama’s 2012 immigration policy is responsible for much of the mayhem. "The president and his administration knew what was happening with the issuance of the executive order in 2012," Dobbs said, "which created these children coming across."
PunditFact’s check found that Dobbs’ claim does not match the timeline pertaining to immigration spikes by unaccompanied children and ignores other important factors. He earned a Mostly False for his troubles.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry said in an interview with talk-show host Glenn Beck that "the number of illegal activities up to and including homicides – I think over 3,000 homicides by illegal aliens over the course of the last years; that’s unacceptable and that’s the reason that we have to secure that border."
PolitiFact Texas wrote that the presentation Perry relied on for his information is unsupported by facts. "For this declaration to hold any water," it concluded, "one would have to assume illegal immigrants committed nearly half of the state’s homicides since 2008; we found no such data." The claim left the governor with his pantaloons aflame.
In the above-mentioned interview, Beck made a claim of his own, saying that in "Austin, Texas yesterday, a rape of a 9-year-old girl, of a guy who had been caught four times and released." His implication was that the attacker wasn’t living in the country with legal permission.
Beck got the alleged crime and location wrong, according to PolitiFact Texas, but authorities northwest of Fort Worth did detain Israel Andrade, an unauthorized U.S. resident previously deported three times. The charge was burglary of a habitation with intent to commit another felony, which local officials referred to as indecency with a child by sexual contact. There was no rape. "On balance," the piece said, "we find this claim Half True."
Deidre Imus, a Fox Business contributor, recently compared the immigration records of Reagan and Obama. During an exchange with Fox News analyst Lis Wiehl, Imus said people "were not pouring in under Reagan like they are now."
"The numbers tell a different story," PunditFact’s check determined. "The apprehension figures, even allowing for changes in tactics, show an average of over a million attempts by people to cross the border during the Reagan years," it said. "For Obama, the average is about 417,000." The claim was rated False.
5. Jeb makes a Mostly True immigration jab of his own
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush recently entered the immigration debate with an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, writing, "As few as 2 percent of the 50,000 (Central American) children who have crossed the border illegally this year have been sent home."
PolitiFact National’s check found that the 2 percent figure is "only useful as a snapshot of the current state of affairs; it is likely the number will rise as mor and more of these children go through the legal process." He was also dinged for saying the low number was the result of Central American kids skipping their court appearances, when it has more to do with how long the legal proceedings take. His statement was accurate but needed clarification. It was rated Mostly True.
Don’t agree with some of these immigration-related rulings? Don’t get cross (so to speak), but get even by tossing those comments our way. Let’s get the conversation started.