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AP FACT CHECK: Trump's skewed claims on immigration, economy

Jun 29th 2018, 11:25 pm
Posted by karamcgrud
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WASHINGTON (AP) - President Donald Trump is distorting the truth when it comes to the impact of his administration's policy regarding separating children from their parents at the U.S. border.

best health insuranceHe falsely suggests that a newly signed executive order will permanently solve the problem of separations by keeping families together when they are detained for illegally crossing the border and exaggerates the number of immigration judges available to process their claims while they're held in custody. A growing backlog of claims could mean that people will be held longer in detention until their cases are heard.

Among other questionable statements this past week, Trump declares that total denuclearization in North Korea has already begun, repeats misleading claims about the Russia probe and doesn't tell the full story about the creation of new U. health care provider S. jobs and rising wages.

In this June 20, 2018, photo, President Donald Trump holds up the executive order he signed to end family separations at the border, during an event in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington. Trump is distorting the truth when it comes to the impact of his administration's policy regarding separating children from their parents at the U.S. border. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

A look at some of his statements and the reality behind them:

TRUMP: "And ultimately, we have to have a real border - not judges. Thousands and thousands of judges they want to hire. Who are these people? When we vet a single federal judge, it goes through a big process. Now we're hiring thousands and thousands. ... And it got so crazy that all of these thousands - we now have thousands of judges - border judges - thousands and thousands." - remarks Tuesday to the National Federation of Independent Business.

TRUMP: "We shouldn't be hiring judges by the thousands, as our ridiculous immigration laws demand, we should be changing our laws, building the Wall, hire Border Agents and Ice and not let people come into our country based on the legal phrase they are told to say as their password." - tweet Thursday.

THE FACTS: He's incorrect about the U.S. having "thousands and thousands" of immigration judges and about thousands more judges being hired. The Justice Department's immigration courts division has about 335 judges currently on staff nationwide, with the budget for 150 additional judges.

Dana Leigh Marks, past president of the National Association of Immigration Judges who also works in the Justice Department's executive office for immigration review, said funding for immigration courts has increased modestly amid a growing backlog of cases. With a backlog of 700,000, each judge would have to take on more than 2,000 cases apiece to clear the docket.

The figures also don't take into account a wave of expected retirements that would shrink the ranks of judges. A June 2017 Government Accountability Office report determined that 39 percent of immigration judges are now eligible for retirement. Congressional investigators blamed the mounting caseload in part on the slow hiring of immigration judges and said the federal government needed to do a better job to address staffing needs.

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TRUMP: "We're keeping families together, and this will solve that problem." - remarks Wednesday at signing of order to halt his administration's policy of separating children from their parents when they are detained illegally crossing the U.S. border.

THE FACTS: It doesn't solve the problem.

Trump's executive order will continue his "zero tolerance policy" of criminally prosecuting all adults caught crossing the border illegally, and will now seek to keep families together in detention instead of separating them while their legal cases are heard by the courts.

But a 1997 landmark settlement known as the Flores agreement that generally bars the government from keeping children in immigration detention for more than 20 days remains in place.

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