FACT CHECK: OBAMA’S CLAIMS ON ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION
by Alicia A. Caldwell and Erica Werner at Yahoo News:
President Barack Obama made some notable omissions Thursday night in his remarks about the unilateral actions he’s taking on immigration.
Obama on Immigration: ‘I Committed to Fixing This System’ MarketWatch
Obama: We’ll Deal Responsibly With Illegal Immigrants MarketWatch
Text of President Obama’s immigration address Associated Press
Obama facing opposition to immigration plan being outlined Thursday night Associated Press
Full text of President Obama’s speech on immigration plan Reuters
A look at his statements and how they compare with the facts:
OBAMA: “It does not grant citizenship, or the right to stay here permanently, or offer the same benefits that citizens receive – only Congress can do that. All we’re saying is we’re not going to deport you.”
THE FACTS: He’s saying, and doing, more than that. The changes also will make those covered eligible for work permits, allowing them to be employed in the country legally and compete with citizens and legal residents for better-paying jobs.
OBAMA: “Although this summer, there was a brief spike in unaccompanied children being apprehended at our border, the number of such children is now actually lower than it’s been in nearly two years.”
View galleryA group of Hispanic people watch a television broadcast …
A group of Hispanic people watch a television broadcast of President Barack Obama’s speech on im …
THE FACTS: The numbers certainly surged this year, but it was more than a “brief spike.” The number of unaccompanied children apprehended at the border has been on the rise since the 2011 budget year. That year about 16,000 children were found crossing the border alone. In 2012, the Border Patrol reported more than 24,000 children, followed by more than 38,800 in 2013. In the last budget year, more than 68,361 children were apprehended.
OBAMA: “Overall, the number of people trying to cross our border illegally is at its lowest level since the 1970s. Those are the facts.”
THE FACTS: Indeed, in the 2014 budget year the Border Patrol made 486,651 arrests of border crossers, among the fewest since the early 1970s. But border arrests have been on the rise since 2011.
The decline in crossings is not purely, or perhaps even primarily, due to the Obama administration. The deep economic recession early in his presidency and the shaky aftermath made the U.S. a less attractive place to come for work. The increase in arrests since 2011 also can be traced in part to the economy — as the recovery improved, more people came in search of opportunity.
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