Numerous outlets retract story on immigrant children detention after mistakenly using Obama-era numbers

by John Wesley Reid · Nov 20th, 2019 3:00 pm

Last Updated Nov 20th, 2019 at 4:53 pm

Reuters, AFP, and other news outlets retracted a story indicating a record-high number of immigrant children in U.S. custody. The articles indicated that 100,000 immigrant children were currently detained.

But after immigration reporters called those numbers into question, it became clear that the “100,000” figure came from 2015, during the Obama administration. Aaron Reichlin-Melnick, a lawyer with the American Immigration Council provided an analysis:

AFP and other outlets soon published statements of retraction. 

Democrats were swift to condemn the numbers before they realized they were from when former President Barack Obama was in office. The House Homeland Security Committee posted a now-deleted tweet saying, “These numbers are horrifying. The Trump administration’s child separation policy is cruel and shameful.”