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 2:48 PM
Updated: Jun 20, 2018 2:48 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.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 31715

Reported Deaths: 1984
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion9189533
Lake3299167
Cass15826
Allen127766
St. Joseph117034
Hendricks112367
Hamilton109992
Johnson1082104
Elkhart100827
Madison58258
Porter48721
Bartholomew48033
Clark45838
LaPorte40821
Tippecanoe3733
Jackson3611
Howard35618
Delaware35434
Hancock31927
Shelby31421
Floyd31338
Boone28235
Morgan26124
Vanderburgh2482
Montgomery22717
White2268
Decatur22431
Clinton2151
Noble18520
Grant18520
Harrison18521
Dubois1822
Greene16723
Warrick16426
Dearborn16221
Monroe16010
Henry1597
Vigo1477
Lawrence14322
Miami1391
Putnam1337
Jennings1274
Orange12422
Scott1183
Ripley1126
Franklin1068
Carroll922
Kosciusko861
Daviess8216
Steuben792
Newton7410
Wabash722
Wayne695
Fayette654
Marshall641
LaGrange602
Jasper561
Washington521
Fulton471
Rush452
Jay430
Jefferson411
Randolph403
Pulaski390
Clay391
Whitley392
Brown331
Sullivan321
Starke313
Owen311
DeKalb291
Perry270
Huntington262
Benton250
Knox240
Crawford230
Wells230
Tipton221
Blackford201
Switzerland190
Fountain182
Parke170
Posey170
Spencer161
Gibson142
Ohio130
Adams121
Warren121
Vermillion90
Martin90
Union80
Pike60
Unassigned0152

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 32477

Reported Deaths: 1987
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Franklin5310237
Cuyahoga3963217
Marion261921
Hamilton2458128
Lucas2126229
Pickaway204335
Mahoning1341169
Summit1236159
Butler80225
Stark68589
Lorain64858
Columbiana60950
Montgomery60515
Trumbull52942
Belmont39012
Miami34830
Warren33619
Tuscarawas3182
Portage31458
Medina30219
Delaware30013
Ashtabula28132
Wood27645
Lake26811
Geauga25729
Wayne25050
Fairfield2403
Clark2236
Licking20710
Allen19131
Mercer1903
Clermont1885
Richland1863
Erie1575
Darke15316
Madison1347
Washington11718
Crawford1043
Morrow1041
Greene935
Ottawa917
Putnam8714
Monroe7111
Sandusky6810
Ross662
Hocking654
Auglaize643
Jefferson622
Huron551
Williams521
Hancock481
Muskingum450
Union450
Clinton430
Hardin410
Shelby412
Logan370
Fayette370
Wyandot362
Fulton360
Defiance322
Guernsey310
Preble301
Carroll282
Lawrence280
Holmes271
Champaign261
Brown251
Coshocton240
Knox231
Vinton191
Seneca192
Ashland180
Highland181
Perry181
Scioto150
Henry150
Athens141
Paulding130
Jackson110
Harrison100
Adams81
Gallia71
Pike60
Meigs60
Morgan50
Noble50
Van Wert50
Unassigned00
Fort Wayne
Clear
86° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 88°
Angola
Clear
79° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 81°
Huntington
Few Clouds
86° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 87°
Decatur
Clear
84° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 84°
Van Wert
Clear
84° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 84°
Scattered Storms Wednesday
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events