Donald Trump made 8 misleading claims about immigration on Fox and Friends
President Donald Trump repeated several misleading talking points about immigration during an interview with Fox & Friends’ Brian Kilmeade.
We counted at least eight faulty claims in less than five minutes.
In the interview that aired May 24, Trump lauded his administration’s efforts at the border, criticized the diversity visa program, and called out policies that he believes threaten the nation’s security.
Here’s what Trump said, fact-checked.
That’s Pants on Fire. Trump again mischaracterizes the diversity visa program that lets in about 50,000 immigrants per fiscal year.
Countries do not send immigrants; individual make the decision to apply for the lottery, and simply applying doesn’t guarantee they’ll come to the United States.
Applicants must meet work or education requirements and be thoroughly vetted by the U.S. State Department before their arrival.
Trump revived an earlier False claim that "22 to 24 people" came to the United States due to family ties with the suspect in an October 2017 New York City terror attack.
Neither the White House nor the Department of Homeland Security have provided information to substantiate Trump’s claims. Immigration experts previously told us Trump’s "chain migration" numbers are unlikely, particularly because there are limitations on who can be sponsored for immigration.
A 2013 study found that overall, each new immigrant sponsored an average of 3.45 family members.
Trump leaves out important context. "Catch and release" is not a law, but a practice generally used in cases dealing with unaccompanied minors and asylum seekers. It is not reserved for criminals.
Some immigrants who have been apprehended or who presented themselves at the border are released into the country with the expectation that they will come back before an immigration judge.
In a February 2017 memo, then-Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly (now White House chief of staff) said detention of all immigrants may not be possible due to limited detention space.
"Detention resources should be prioritized based upon potential danger and risk of flight if an individual alien is not detained, and parole determinations will be made in accordance with current regulations and guidance," Kelly said.
Trump consistently has criticized U.S. immigration laws and has called them "pathetic" compared to Mexico’s policies. But we’ve found that Trump underplays the increasing robustness of U.S. immigration laws and enforcement, and also has downplayed Mexico’s own porous southern border. We rated that off-base comparison between the United States and Mexico as Mostly False.
Trump has also falsely claimed that the "catch-and-release" practice stems from Democrats. It dates back to at least Republican President George W. Bush, and continues under Trump’s Republican leadership.
That’s Mostly False. Immigration officials say they don’t have a count of how many MS-13 gang members have been deported, since they don’t break down deportation data by gang affiliation.
While thousands of gang members have been deported under Trump’s administration, there’s no number indicating they all belonged to MS-13. Law enforcement officials estimate there are about 10,000 MS-13 gang members in the United States. The membership includes U.S. citizens who can’t be deported.
Trump repeats his False claim about House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi coming out in favor of MS-13 gang members and defending them.
The claim stems from Pelosi’s criticism of Trump for using the word "animals" during an immigration meeting with California officials. Trump used that term after a sheriff spoke about MS-13 gang members.
A day after Trump’s comment, Pelosi said "calling people animals is not a good thing" and defended "undocumented immigrants." She did not bring up MS-13 gang members in her comments.
This is disingenuous and Mostly False. Congress appropriated $1.6 billion to replace existing border fencing and add some new barriers. But the money cannot be used to build any of the wall prototypes built under Trump’s directive.
While there are border security improvements underway, Trump’s promised border wall is not under construction.
This is False. Even though Trump and Vice President Mike Pence say illegal border crossings are down 40 percent, official data does not support their claim.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection numbers shows that southwest border apprehensions increased from March to April of 2018; and the data for April 2018 is also higher than that of April of 2017 and 2016.
Apprehensions dropped 25 percent in fiscal year 2017 compared to fiscal year 2016.
Based on the most recent data, it’s unclear how Trump or Pence arrive at a 40 percent decline (and Trump has simultaneously bemoaned a recent rise in apprehensions).