AP FACT CHECK: 2014 photo wrongly used to hit Trump policies
FILE - In this June 18, 2014 file photo, two female detainees sleep in a holding cell, as the children are separated by age group and gender, as hundreds of mostly Central American immigrant children are being processed and held at the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Nogales Placement Center in Nogales, Ariz. President Donald Trump has seized on an error by liberal activists for tweeting photos of detainees at the U.S.-Mexico border in steel cages and blamed the current administration for separating immigrant children from their parents. The photos were taken by The Associated Press in 2014, when President Barack Obama was in office. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, Pool)
WASHINGTON (AP) — Since the government acknowledged last month that the Trump administration had lost track of nearly 1,500 immigrant children, the debate over what that means and who is to blame has roiled Twitter. A look at the partisan claims and a reality check behind the latest immigration fight:
THE 2014 PHOTOS
—“Speechless. This is not who we are as a nation.” — Democrat Antonio Villaraigosa, former Los Angeles mayor now running for governor, referring in a tweet Sunday to photos showing young-looking immigrants in steel cages.
—“This is happening right now, and the only debate that matters is how we force our government to get these kids back to their families as fast as humanly possible.” — Jon Favreau, who was speechwriter for President Barack Obama, referring Sunday to the same photos.
THE FACTS: The photos, taken by The Associated Press, were from 2014, during the Obama administration, but were presented by liberal activists as if they showed the effects of Trump’s immigration policy now. Villaraigosa, Favreau and some others deleted their tweets when the mistake was pointed out.
They had linked to a June 2014 online story by The Arizona Republic titled “First peek: Immigrant children flood detention center.” The story featured photos taken by AP’s Ross D. Franklin at a center run by the Customs and Border Protection Agency in Nogales, Arizona. One photo shows two unidentified female detainees sleeping in a holding cell. The caption refers to U.S. efforts to process 47,000 unaccompanied children at the Nogales center and another one in Brownsville, Texas.