comscore Fact check: Trump claims on travel ban misleading, wrong | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
Top News

Fact check: Trump claims on travel ban misleading, wrong

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS

    Demonstrators held banners during a protest against President Donald Trump’s controversial travel ban on refugees and people from seven mainly-Muslim countries, outside Downing Street in London today.

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS

    President Donald Trump sat at his desk in the Oval Office of the White House, on Jan. 23, in Washington. The legal fight over Trump’s refugee ban is likely to turn on whether the president has the authority to control access to America’s borders and whether targeting people from a particular region in the world violates the Constitution.

WASHINGTON >> In the face of widespread criticism, President Donald Trump has staunchly defended his order temporarily banning refugees and nearly all citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries. But in a statement Sunday and tweets today, Trump misstated the facts multiple times.

What Trump said and how it compares with the facts:

TRUMP: In a Twitter message today, he said “Only 109 people out of 325,000 were detained and held for questioning. Big problems at airports were caused by Delta computer outage.”

THE FACTS: According to a federal law enforcement official briefed on the implementation of the order, nearly 400 green-card holders actually were delayed after arriving at U.S. airports after the travel ban was signed. As of Sunday afternoon, one legal permanent resident had been denied entry as a result of the order, according to the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the person wasn’t allowed to discuss the matter publicly.

Delta Airlines did report a computer problem that forced the cancellation of more than 150 flights on Sunday. The chaos and protests at airports around the country began before that happened and were related to the travel ban, not delayed or cancelled flights.

TRUMP: In a White House statement Sunday, he said “My policy is similar to what President (Barack) Obama did in 2011 when he banned visas for refugees from Iraq for six months.”

THE FACTS: That’s not exactly what happened. According to State Department data, 9,388 Iraqi refugees were admitted to the United States during the 2011 budget year. The data also show that Iraqi refugees were admitted every month during the 2011 calendar year.

The Obama administration did slow processing for Iraqi nationals seeking refuge in the U.S. under the government’s Special Immigrant Visa program for translators and interpreters who worked with American troops in Afghanistan and Iraq. That happened after two Iraqi nationals were arrested on terrorism-related charges. But that year, 618 Iraqis were allowed to enter the U.S. with that special visa.

Government data show that during the 2011 budget year, more than 7,800 Iraqis were allowed into the United States on non-immigrant visas, including tourists.

TRUMP: In the same statement, he said “The seven countries named in the Executive Order are the same countries previously identified by the Obama administration as sources of terror.”

THE FACTS: That is misleading. The Republican-led Congress in 2015 voted to require visas and additional security checks for foreign citizens who normally wouldn’t need visas — such as those from Britain — if they had visited the seven countries: Iraq, Iran, Syria, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen. This was included in a large spending bill passed overwhelmingly by Congress and signed by Obama.

As the law was enacted, the Obama administration announced that journalists, aid workers and others who traveled to the listed countries for official work could apply for exemptions. There were no special U.S. travel restrictions on citizens of those seven countries.

TRUMP, also in Sunday’s statement: “To be clear, this is not a Muslim ban, as the media is falsely reporting. This is not about religion — this is about terror and keeping our country safe. There are over 40 different countries worldwide that are majority Muslim that are not affected by this order.”

THE FACTS: Trump is right that there are many majority-Muslim countries that have not been included in the travel ban. But he’s also being misleading. The executive order signed Friday does not specifically say Muslims can’t visit the U.S., but it does create a temporary total travel ban for citizens of seven majority-Muslim countries. It also indefinitely bans Syrians.

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani recently told Fox News that Trump had asked him to create a plan for a Muslim ban that would meet legal tests. Giuliani said he ultimately made recommendations that focused on security and what countries posed security threats.

TRUMP: The president also tweeted, “If the ban were announced with a one week notice, the ‘bad’ would rush into our country during that week. A lot of bad ‘dudes’ out there!”

THE FACTS: The immigration system doesn’t allow the kind of “rush” Trump is describing. There are 38 countries, mostly European, whose citizens can visit the U.S. without a visa. But they must be approved for travel in advance by supplying background information to the U.S. government. Any other foreigner looking to visit or move to America for school or work has to get in line for a visa and be subjected to a variety of background checks, including reviews by federal law enforcement and intelligence. Before Trump’s executive order was signed, some people were eligible to skip an in-person interview if they met a variety of requirements.

And the U.S. can always stop a foreigner from boarding a U.S.-bound flight or cancel a visa upon someone’s arrival. A visa is not a guarantee that a foreigner will be allowed into the U.S.

Comments (51)

By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the Terms of Service. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. If your comments are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. Report comments if you believe they do not follow our guidelines.

Having trouble with comments? Learn more here.

Leave a Reply

    • Trump lies with regularity. During the rigged by Russia campaign, Trump duped his voters and he openly said they were poorly educated and he thus loved them. He is not legitimate, he lost the popular vote and he is done. The entire White House is so weird now that no one even recognizes it anymore. As bad as Pence is, he would be an improvement over the bizarre and anti-American Trump.

      • allie, STILL crying about the popular vote? What did the popular vote get her? The popular vote was as helpful and useful for her as the so called “A-List” star power that came out to campaign for her. The fact is she,Podesta,Mook and Palmieri ran a poor campaign. Sec. Clinton was absolutely brilliant during the debates, yet failed after each debate to continue to reach out to the voters.

      • What a bunch of crock. You Libertarded Democrats can’t stand our Laws of the Land? Use all that crying energy to change our Country’s Laws of the Land, not to side step or disobey our Laws but uphold it

      • It has been my experience that when you check these out, there is truth behind what he said. Maybe not that articulate but it is generally there.

        What is really dishonest is the smooth sneaky way that AP and a certain past president represents as fact a special case.

        So for example, they will talk about a “Muslim ban”, or “Muslim majority countries”. The sneaky implication is that this is the determining criteria, which is transparently false. If it were true it would include the largest Muslim country in the world, Indonesia.

      • You seem to be less in contact with reality than President Trump! If “we” voters wanted the White House to stay the same, we would have voted for Hillary. Clearly, people want a change and expect changes. Change is good! Trying to drown out the changes with your loser tears won’t work. Sit back and watch the bus go down the right road as it was intended to.

    • The way the first fact is fact checked is weird.

      It says Trump “detained.” But for the “Fact” uses the word “delayed.” Detained and delayed have entirely different meanings context.

      I don’t think they fact checked the first point correctly.

    • Why do I get the feeling that this article was written by someone who is anti-Trump? I’m not saying that any of this is right or wrong. What I am suggesting is that whomever is writing this stuff has a political agenda.

  • “Trump Lies”. Ho hum. I’ve been reading that same headline ever since he started his campaign last year. Somebody wake me up when he tells the truth — now THAT will be newsworthy!

  • Typical AP garbage…the first “fact check” compares the number of people Trump said were “detained” to the number they say were “delayed.” Well, hell, thousands of people were DELAYED by numbskull protestors. AP is nothing but a mouthpiece for the shrieking left.

    • I know, bumbai.

      All those angry Americans, I mean losers. What has gotten ito them? Where did all this anger come from any way? Imagine intentionally whipping people up into a frenzy like this. How low can some people go?

      What kind of a politician would do such a terrible thing?

      It’s a good thing Trump is so calm, and so respectful of other points of view. He’ll get this whole mess fixed in a jiffy.

      And then mighty Trump will come down hard on that dastardly Federal Judge and all those upset whimpy Republican RHINOs. Ka-boom!

      You’ll see.

  • This is believed if you trust AP as a reputable Fact-Checking source. This could very well be more Media Spin.

    I think the american people are much smarter than this.

  • The Associated Press incorrectly says the Republican Congress designated the seven countries of concern, not President Obama’s Administration.
    U.S. Code 1187(a)(12) provides responsibility to the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Homeland Security to designate countries of concern, other than Iraq and Syria. See https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/8/1187 .
    A February 2016 press release by the Department of Homeland Security announced they added Libya, Somalia, and Yemen to the four countries on the list. See https://www.dhs.gov/news/2016/02/18/dhs-announces-further-travel-restrictions-visa-waiver-program .

  • Big joke that AP Is doing fact checks. As an example, they botched a recent report: “The Associated Press claimed that it had learned U.S. aircraft had joined Russian planes in a combat airstrike in Syria, but the resulting news stories taken as gospel from the mainstream media source were debunked as they started spreading in the afternoon.” SA please drop this silly coverage. Oops, I forgot, it’s a fact that SA is left biased.

  • Fact checks by the AP. Talk about an oxymoron. All I read here was speculation, confusing detainees with delayed passengers and referring to an unamed (probably imaginary) federal law enforcement official as a source. The traitorous MSM is pathetic.

  • Here’s a fact to check:

    57% of voters/likely voters approve of president Trump’s temporary immigration ban.

    So protest all you want people, there is a silent majority out there that doesn’t agree with you.

  • Washington Post Fact Checker: “The Trump White House’s figures on the scope of the travel ban are ludicrously low. The universe of people likely affected by the travel suspension is around 90,000 — not 109. The White House should also not use the overall daily number of travelers as a comparison. Four Pinocchios”

  • Washington Post Fact Checker: “Trump, yet again, claims credit for decisions that were already made before he became president. Trump stated he “was able to get $600 million approximately off those planes,” thereby ending the “difficulty” and “no movement” in the program.

    “Yet the Pentagon had already announced cost reductions of roughly $600 million before Trump began meeting with Lockheed Martin’s chief executive. Once again, we award Trump Pinocchios for taking undue credit.

    “Four Pinocchios”

  • Star-Advertiser and AP must pull this Fact Check piece. The information and facts currently coming out is showing the Fact Check piece is “Fake News”.

  • Funny how the AP fact checks Trump but never fact checks his opposition. I haven’t seen a piece out clarifying the EO that the opposition keeps spinning as a ban on all immigrants. A temporary one at that. But ,no. They keep spinning the news liking to 1920’s during the holocaust and the Japanese ban during WWII .

  • THANK YOU Kuroiwaj, CEI, Pocho, deepdiver311, bumbai, yobo, and jussayin – I am SO relieved that we have our own armchair fact checkers out there in the i’net ether-sniffing atmosphere to guide us through the next 47 months. Now I don’t need to read BBC or watch C-Span any more to make up my own mind about what is patently obvious to anyone who can read or hear – that the WH is now occupied by a flat our liar.

      • Why are all of you concerned about the “facts” that you all fail to see the whole purpose of this temporary measure (EO) that is for the protection of we/us American citizens from possible infiltration by “ISLAMIC RADICAL TERRORISTS (IRTs)” into the USA. Timeliness and clarity may have been lacking, but the intent is sound by not giving the IRTs any advance notice of the action that was to take place. All these protests are big good for nothing waste of time efforts. Our Constitution gives us that right, but my questions is what do these people do when they’re not protesting? Do they work for a living or are they being paid by some political entity to participate in these protests? I see them as questionable people with questionable intentions. I do advocate for use of the NUKE and sometimes things like this might be better resolved by just taking a nap.

  • An AP Fact Check? They have shown their obvious bias against Trump for some time. I don’t believe anything coming out of AP’s mouth. What a media rag!

  • I am one of the biggest Trump supporters, but the way this was announced was in my opinion poorly done with not enough information supplied to give people who would be/could be affected. There were so many questions after this Executive Order was signed. Much, much more could have and should have been done to explain what was being done, who was being affected, how they would be affected and WHY the EO was even signed in the first place. I really hope he can live down this one, otherwise he may go down as the “Anti-Muslim” President. Nothing else good he does may be enough to get away from that distinction.

  • Here is how you fact check the media. Donald Trump won the election on Nov. 8th. How many positive stories on Trump have been published since then. I’ll be generous and say 10%. 90% have been negative stories. Fact the media has a liberal bias and should not be fact checking wether the sun rises and sets everyday.

Click here to see our full coverage of the coronavirus outbreak. Submit your coronavirus news tip.

Be the first to know
Get web push notifications from Star-Advertiser when the next breaking story happens — it's FREE! You just need a supported web browser.
Subscribe for this feature

Scroll Up