Our recent fact-checks of claims by President Barack Obama about fish in the streets of Miami, Jeb Bush about screening refugees for religion, and U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson’s claim that U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz isn’t an American drew multiple responses from PolitiFact Florida readers.
Here are some edited excerpts:
Are there fish in the streets of Miami?
During the climate change conference in Paris, Obama said, "You go down to Miami and when it's flooding at high tide on a sunny day, fish are swimming through the middle of the streets." We rated that statement Half True.
Fish have been seen (and videotaped) on the streets. But that’s been in the low-lying areas that surround Miami, not on the streets in the city proper. And the sightings were during the more dramatic king tides, when high tides are at their highest, not during average daily high tides.
One PolitiFact reader said: "Obama proposed that fish are swimming in the streets of Miami because of global warming. Your conclusion was a half truth because someone actually took a video or photo of fish in Miami doing exactly that, but that did not answer the question. If there was evidence that fish swam in the streets 10, 50 or 100 years ago then that would prove his claim to be false as it was a result of flooding only. If, however, those fish are only swimming in the streets recently then his proposal might be claimed as true, and perhaps a result of global warming."
Another reader wrote: "You said President Obama's statement at the Climate Summit regarding fish swimming in the streets of Miami was Half True because the occurrences were not in the city. However, Dade County is now Miami-Dade County and is where the fish have been videoed in the streets. The name ‘Miami’ can now refer to the whole county. At worst, it appears as mostly true."
Is there a requirement to screen refugees for religion?
Bush said, "It is already in the law that there is a requirement to screen (refugees) for religion."
We rated this statement Mostly True. U.S. immigration law does state that American officials must dig into a person’s religion if their refugee status is based on a fear of religious persecution. However, there is no formal requirement if the person bases the claim on other grounds. In practice, questions about religion are common even if they are not required.
A PolitiFact reader responded: "In your research you found that there is NOT "a legal requirement to screen for religion." How then do you find his statement mostly true? His statement is logically "false", the opposite of true!"
Reader: Grayson is ‘100 percent correct’
U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson, D-Orlando, said, "Technically, (Ted Cruz is) not even an American." We rated Grayson’s statement Pants on Fire.
Cruz gained his citizenship through his American mother the moment he was born. Cruz holds a U.S. passport and is a duly elected member of the U.S. Senate. Grayson, who is running for U.S. Senate, alleges that Cruz’s mother had lost her American citizenship while in Canada, but the source he cited provided no evidence. Grayson provided no proof that Cruz’s mother had become a Canadian citizen. Even if she had, under current law and policy she would still be an American. And so, too, would Cruz.
A reader responded, "Although I do not care for Mr. Grayson, he is 100 percent correct."
"I have researched this issue for the past eight years and hundreds of us have taken our evidence to court. Dozens, including mine went to the Supreme Court but ALL were dismissed on technicalities. We all believe they are afraid of the evidence."
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