Fact-checking Trump on immigration, family separations

President Donald Trump on Tuesday delivered a stream-of-consciousness-style speech on immigration as furor over his a...

Posted: Jun 20, 2018 1:48 PM
Updated: Jun 20, 2018 1:48 PM

President Donald Trump on Tuesday delivered a stream-of-consciousness-style speech on immigration as furor over his administration's separation of families at the border reaches a fever pitch.

But his speech at a small business event in Washington contained several factual inaccuracies.

Here is what Trump said, and what the reality is.

False claim: Family separations are Democrats' fault

Trump said the family separations at the border are "a result of Democrat-supported loopholes in our federal laws" that he said could be easily changed.

"These are crippling loopholes that cause family separation, which we don't want," Trump said.

The reality: Trump's administration made a decision to prosecute 100% of adults caught crossing the border illegally even if they came with children, and thus are separating parents from their kids at the border with no clear plan to reunite them after the parents return from jail and court proceedings.

The administration has long wanted to roll back a law unanimously passed under President George W. Bush and a court settlement dating back decades but most recently affirmed under the Obama administration -- citing those two provisions as "loopholes." Both were designed to protect immigrant children from dangers like human trafficking and to provide minimum standards for their care, including turning them over to the Department of Health and Human Services for resettlement within three days of arrest, as opposed to being held in lengthy detention, and dictating that children with their families also cannot be held in detention or jail-like conditions longer than three weeks.

The administration has complained the laws make it harder to immediately deport or reject immigrants at the border, and that they are not able to detain families indefinitely.

False claim: Thousands of judges

Trump said his administration was hiring "thousands and thousands" of immigration judges, that the US already has "thousands" of immigration judges and that other countries don't have immigration judges.

In reality, there are currently just over 300 immigration judges with more planned to be hired. In May, the director of the Justice Department's immigration courts division said there are 60 immigration courts nationwide with 334 judges, with hopes to bring in 40 to 50 more this fiscal year.

Because of a massive backlog in the immigration courts, it can take years for those cases to work their way to completion, and many immigrants are allowed to work and live in the US in the meantime, putting down roots. The funding for immigration courts and judges has increased only modestly over the years as funding and resources for enforcement have increased dramatically. A proposal from Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, to address the family separation issue would double the number of judges to 750.

Trump's comments Tuesday echoed remarks he made last month. In a May Fox News interview, he claimed the United States was "essentially the only country that has judges" to handle immigration cases. But that is incorrect.

A number of other countries have immigration court systems or a part of the judiciary reserved for immigration and asylum cases, including Sweden, the United Kingdom and Canada.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 501652

Reported Deaths: 10024
CountyCasesDeaths
Harrison34353540
DeSoto32162408
Hinds31977631
Jackson24508383
Rankin22015390
Lee15596235
Madison14597280
Jones13867243
Forrest13461252
Lauderdale11998317
Lowndes11065188
Lamar10522136
Pearl River9547237
Lafayette8557140
Hancock7740127
Washington7443160
Oktibbeha7147133
Monroe6787178
Warren6706176
Pontotoc6677104
Neshoba6642206
Panola6542131
Marshall6476135
Bolivar6323150
Union605794
Pike5824152
Alcorn5676102
Lincoln5439135
George497479
Scott473098
Tippah470381
Prentiss469182
Leflore4663144
Itawamba4640105
Adams4592119
Tate4592111
Copiah448792
Simpson4448116
Yazoo444887
Wayne440072
Covington429094
Sunflower4240105
Marion4232108
Coahoma4168107
Leake408688
Newton381779
Grenada3711108
Stone360664
Tishomingo360092
Attala331789
Jasper330165
Winston314691
Clay308977
Chickasaw301067
Clarke292594
Calhoun279447
Holmes267987
Smith264150
Yalobusha234547
Tallahatchie228251
Greene219449
Walthall218764
Lawrence213140
Perry205956
Amite205256
Webster203046
Noxubee186840
Montgomery179657
Jefferson Davis172243
Carroll169338
Tunica160039
Benton149239
Kemper141941
Choctaw133326
Claiborne132837
Humphreys129638
Franklin120328
Quitman106528
Wilkinson105139
Jefferson94734
Sharkey64220
Issaquena1937
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 820312

Reported Deaths: 15407
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson1148731924
Mobile726221339
Madison52362697
Shelby37640350
Baldwin37266552
Tuscaloosa35120612
Montgomery34123740
Lee23540246
Calhoun22236488
Morgan20958378
Etowah19838500
Marshall18381304
Houston17394412
St. Clair16078339
Cullman15468293
Limestone15354199
Elmore15271286
Lauderdale14323295
Talladega13851283
DeKalb12664261
Walker11221370
Blount10207176
Autauga10048148
Jackson9877184
Coffee9211191
Dale8904185
Colbert8877201
Tallapoosa7093198
Escambia6778134
Covington6715183
Chilton6648162
Russell637559
Franklin5969105
Chambers5612142
Marion5010127
Dallas4979200
Pike4796106
Clarke475884
Geneva4575127
Winston4522103
Lawrence4327117
Bibb425386
Barbour357876
Marengo338390
Monroe331664
Randolph329864
Butler326796
Pickens316584
Henry312866
Hale311688
Cherokee302960
Fayette294180
Washington251651
Cleburne247760
Crenshaw245375
Clay243368
Macon234863
Lamar224847
Conecuh186353
Coosa180340
Lowndes175464
Wilcox168939
Bullock151744
Perry138940
Sumter133238
Greene126744
Choctaw88527
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High pressure will dominate our weather forecast for our Tuesday. This means we will see some good weather for our Tuesday. However, some rain and thunderstorms will be in our weather forecast down the line with some more low pressure in our area.
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