Following a news conference at the White House where U.S. President Donald Trump said law enforcement would begin detaining and holding asylum seekers until their trial date rather than releasing them, the president also told a reporter that he does try to tell the truth, when he can.
“Well I try, I try, I think you try too. I always want to tell the truth, when I can I tell the truth,” Trump told ABC News in an interview.
“And sometimes it turns out to be where something happens that’s different, or there’s a change, but I always like to be truthful,” he added.
At Thursday afternoon’s news conference, Trump told reporters that border officials would be ceasing the longstanding policy on asylum seekers known as “catch and release;” where individuals seeking asylum are detained temporarily, and then released to await their trial date.
“We’re not releasing anymore – we’re going to no longer release, we’re going to catch, we’re not going to release, they’re going to stay with us until the deportation hearing or the asylum hearing takes place,” he told reporters.
To support the reason he is embarking on the new policy, Trump said that upon releasing asylum seekers, “they never show up at the trials.” Upon digging into this statement, Global News found that several factors potentially contribute to the high number of migrants issued deportation orders in absentia.
While it’s true that asylum seekers often miss their court dates, the president seems to have overstated this issue. Available data from the Justice Department from the last five years shows 60 to 75 per cent of non-detained aliens have attended their immigration court proceedings.
However, there is a significant number who did not show up and were ordered to be deported between 2012-16 — 140,000, in fact.
Trump also told ABC News that the migrant caravan group was much larger than the numbers reported, and predicted what looked like a group of impoverished women and children was actually “a lot of young people, lot of young men — they are pushing the women right up to the front — not good — and the kids right up to the front.”
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