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January 12, 2021

Fact check: 5 claims Trump made during his final visit to the US-Mexico border
By Rafael Carranza, Arizona Republic

The Trump administration had sought to end the practice following 2019's massive spike in the number of Central American families seeking asylum in the United States. At several points during the height of the crisis, border officials released migrant families directly into the streets of border communities because they ran out of holding space. Since then, the practice of releasing migrants after they are apprehended has largely ended, in great part because most migrants are immediately sent back to Mexico after agents apprehend them at the border due to COVID-19 restrictions. However, the federal government's own statistics show that not every migrant is expelled. Some of those individuals taken into custody are placed into immigration detention, while other families are released to the care of migrants shelters in U.S. cities, such as Tucson, and then to the custody of relatives. Additionally, Trump claimed Tuesday that the migrants who are released failed to show up to their scheduled court hearings and "disappear into the country," he said. But Austin Kocker, a researcher with Syracuse University's Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, said that is immigration data they have compiled show that is not the case. "Families that were released at the border, almost 85% of them attended all of their immigration hearings, all of them," Kocher said. "The truth is, and the data is there, it's not a political statement, it's just fact that the vast majority of them go to all their hearings."

Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, Syracuse University
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