Trump and Biden
A recent fact check report by The New York Times shows both candidates relying on inflated or outright false statements when talking about immigration. AFP

NEW YORK CITY - Immigration and the unprecedented rise of apprehensions in the southern border has been a top issue for voters ahead of the 2024 elections, leading both President Biden and presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump to also make it play an important role in their platforms.

Growing literature shows Trump's hard-line ideas and rhetoric regarding undocumented immigrants has resonated with voters across the country, leading Biden to adopt a harsher immigration stance, particularly with a recent sweeping executive order cracking down on asylum seeking.

But while both candidates continue to repeat their ideas on immigration and their opposition to the other's goals, a recent New York Times fact checking report shows both politicians tend to communicate inaccurate or inflated statements.

Here are some of them.

Trump mischaracterized the situation at the border under his administration and Biden's

Trump tends to overstate the way the southern border operated under his term, often painting a picture of high efficiency. Meanwhile, he claims, the migrant crisis is solely the Biden administration's fault.

"We had the strongest border ever. I built 571 miles of wall. We're going to add another 200 in three weeks. It was all made, all fabricated. They sold it for five cents on the dollar. The wall was all fabricated. I built much more wall than I said I was going to build," the former president said in a May radio interview.

During Trump's 2016 campaign, he promised to build a wall spanning at least 1,000 miles along the southern border and have Mexico pay for it. That did not happen. Overall, the Trump administration constructed 458 miles of border barriers— most of which reinforced or replaced existing structures, according to the Times.

Contracts were awarded for a total of 631 miles of barriers through January 2021. When Biden took office and halted all construction, the contracted projects were in various states of completion— not "all made"— as officials had run into difficulties with real estate availability.

Similarly, the fact check shows that Trump exaggerates the potential number of migrants that could cross the southern border in the next few years.

"And the numbers are probably 16 million, 17 million or 18 million people. You're going to have over 20 million people, I think, I believe, and a lot of other people do, too, by the time he hopefully gets out," he said in an interview.

While it is impossible to know the exact number that have entered the U.S., border officials estimated about 1.7 million migrants evaded capture and entered the United States since the 2021 fiscal year, according to government data obtained by Fox News through a Freedom of Information Act request.

Trump has claimed that recent migrants are criminals "dumped" by other countries into the U.S.

"Prison population all over the world is down, and nobody knows why except for us. We know why. Because the prisons are being emptied into the United States, and the mental institutions are being emptied into the United States of America, like we're a dumping ground," Trump said in a May rally in Michigan.

The report argues the claims are baseless, as prison populations all over the world have been increasing, instead of decreasing. Penal Reform International, a Netherlands-based nonprofit, estimated that the global prison population was a record 11.5 million in 2023, an increase of 500,000 people since 2020.

Biden and Trump both describe the incumbent's policies inaccurately

Trump claims Biden's executive order that would essentially close down the border once a daily threshold is met is going to have the opposite effect on immigration, namely, having increasing illegal crossings and undocumented migrants.

This can be misleading, the Times argues. The Center for Immigration Studies criticized the asylum exceptions and other "loopholes" in the policy, but said it "will likely drive illegal entries down in the short run."

However, Biden tends to exaggerate his immigration policies' potential effects, according to the fact check.

"Folks, on my first day as president, I introduced a bill I sent to Congress: a comprehensive plan to fix the broken immigration system and to secure the border. But no action was taken," the president said in a speech in February.

However, while that bill included border security measures like directing the Department of Homeland Security to create a plan to deploy new technologies at and between ports of entry and adding resources to legally process migrants, it did not include funding to hire more border patrol agents or changes to the asylum process.

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