This attempted "fact-check" from the Heritage Foundation's new post-Trump DHS "senior fellows" (Wolf, Morgan, Ries) is not only disingenuous, it also gets a number of facts wrong. So I'm going to fact-check the fact-check. Come with me on a thread.…
First, Chad Wolf makes an unprovable claim about motivations behind increased border apprehensions. Here's why it's wrong:

1) Apprehensions began spiking in May 2020, not "the last months" of Trump.
2) In the the actual "last months" after Biden won, apprehensions leveled off! Excerpt: "In the final months of the Trump administratiChart showing major increase in single adult apprehensions b
Chad Wolf's claim of a "border under control" pre-Biden is particularly disingenuous.

Note how he points to April 2020 as proof, ignoring that half the world was on lockdown and that single adult apprehensions—fully 2/3 of all apprehensions under Biden—began spiking in May 2020! Excerpt: "In the final months of the Trump administratiAlternate version of prior chart showing all apprehensions f
Next, Chad Wolf claims reduced border apprehensions in 2019-2020 were due to three things:

- The Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP/Remain in Mexico)
- Asylum Cooperative Agreements (ACAs/Safe Third Country agreements)
- "More construction of the border wall."

I'll address each. Excerpt: "This decrease was thanks to the Migrant Prote
Wolf says that "every single one of these effective policies was still in place on January 20, 2021." That's a half-truth at best, a lie at worst.

The only ACA ever to go into effect was suspended in March 2020 due to COVID. When Biden ended the ACAs they existed on paper only. Excerpt: "Every single one of these effective policies
Similarly, Wolf's claim that MPP was still in place on January 20, 2021 is true, but also deeply deceptive.

MPP was effectively replaced by Title 42. Just 1.19% of people encountered from April 2020 to January 2021 were put into MPP—hardly the major deterrent Wolf is claiming. Graph showing virtually nobody being placed into MPP after T
Wolf's description of MPP is also very deceptive. MPP didn't end "fraudulent" asylum claims, it ended nearly ALL asylum claims through a system of kangaroo courts.

Less than 1% of people put into MPP ever won protection—compared to 13-18% for Central Americans inside the US. Excerpt: This decrease was thanks to the Migrant Protection
Wolf is equally disingenuous when describing the ACAs. What the ACAs did was give the US the ability to deport people to a third country and force them to apply for asylum there—even if they'd never been there.

For example, the U.S.-Honduras ACA would have applied to Mexicans! Excerpt: "asylum cooperative agreements with Northern T
Chad Wolf also claims that "more construction of the border wall" was a cause of a decrease in apprehensions in 2019, and blames Biden's construction pause on skyrocketing numbers.

But that makes no sense. All that wall which supposedly decreased apprehensions is still there! Excerpt: "This decrease was thanks to ... more construc
Wolf's segment ends by saying that "Biden inherited the most secure border in U.S. history, and promptly blew it apart."

So how does he get there? Pretending the 2020 border spike in single adults didn't happen, misrepresenting what Biden did, and making nonsensical arguments.
What's also notable about Wolf's segment is his total failure to mention Title 42; the most sweeping anti-asylum policy adopted by Trump in all four years... and one that Biden has largely kept in place!

Read more about Title 42 from us here:…
Moving on to "Claim No. 2," which is written by Mike Howell.

Hard to fact-check this one because it's all this guy's opinion. Seriously. He tries to fact-checks the word "urgent" and basically says that if Biden doesn't do exactly what he wants, the response isn't "urgent." OK. Claim No. 2:  “It is getting urgent action now.” Rating:
Moving on to "Claim No. 3," written by Lora Ries (who testified as the minority witness in the Congressional hearing I testified at last week).

Ries admits Biden's statement is true but calls it misleading, accusing Biden of effectively "throwing everything in the closet." Claim No. 3:  “For example, a month ago, we had thousands
Unaccompanied children are worse off in Border Patrol custody, and images of crowded CBP cells were what sparked the mainstream calls of a "crisis." Ries is ignoring that when conflating CBP custody with ORR shelters. Plus, Biden is finally beginning to clear the shelters now! Chart showing "Net Change in Non-Mexican Unaccompanied
Ries ends her "fact-check" with an opinion: unless Biden cracks down on migrant children, we'll keep seeing "sky-high numbers."

But the number of unaccompanied kids encountered in April will be 10-15% lower than March. We've already hit the peak, despite Biden changing nothing! Excerpt: "And no matter who has custody of these minors
Moving to "Claim No. 4," which Chad Wolf responds to, where Biden said that DHS did not fully cooperate with the transition team, thus putting some blame on outgoing Trump officials (like Wolf himself) for the current situation at the border.

Wolf... is not happy. Claim No. 4:  “Hey, look, here’s what happened—the fai
Wolf claims that DHS officials met with the transition team more than 200 times to provide briefings, and suggests someone should FOIA them.

Of course, under FOIA all you'd be able to get was a confirmation the meeting happened and likely nothing on substance. At the Department of Homeland Security, we provided the tran
Now the meat of Wolf's counter to Biden's claim of a sabotaged transition: basically, "we told you not to do things we didn't like and you went ahead and did them."

Except... that doesn't refute Biden's claim. In fact, it supports it. All they did was warn, not prepare! During the transition, the incoming Biden administration was
Wolf also attacks a strawman by deliberately misrepresenting what Biden said here.

Biden never said any staff was fired *during transition.* He says they learned after taking office that "[Trump's DHS] had fired a whole lot of people, that they were understaffed considerably." It’s also untrue to claim anyone in DHS was fired during t
So Wolf's defense to Biden's claim of transition team sabotage is to:

- Attack a strawman
- Say they met a lot and warned Biden not to undo Trump policies.

Notably absent? Claims that they dutifully prepared to carry out the new administrations' policies.
Taking a break now before I get to Claims No. 5 and 6, so will be back to this thread later.

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More from @ReichlinMelnick

29 Apr
Meanwhile, while all this trolling goes on by Rep. Boebert and the right wing, the Biden administration has quietly been extremely effective over the last month at getting kids out of Border Patrol custody.

The number of kids in Border Patrol custody has dropped 82% in a month.
As I've talked about before, we are not out of the woods yet when it comes to kids at the border, because a new bottleneck could still form if kids aren't sponsored out of Office of Refugee Resettlement shelters fast enough.

But here, too, clear progress is being made.
The Biden administration's efforts to get kids out of custody have been helped by decreasing numbers of unaccompanied kids coming to the border, down 10-15% from March highs.

If you want to know what's happening at the border, check out our fact sheet.…
Read 14 tweets
23 Apr
It goes without saying that perception is not policy, which is why criticism of Biden's approach at the border from the right that's focused on specific policy changes—e.g. ending Remain in Mexico/MPP—is so often unsupported by evidence. And of course, Fox News drives perception!
It should also go without saying that an entire right-wing media apparatus shouting for months that Joe Biden has opened the borders is going to cause more people to come to the United States than Joe Biden himself saying "We'll make things better later but don't come right now."
That said, this from an unnamed Obama official is just ridiculous and shows why they failed so badly at the border. It's yet another round of the same "We can't fix our humanitarian protection system because people might use it" crap that is indistinguishable from Trump.
Read 5 tweets
22 Apr
You've got that right. Ken Paxton wants to force the Biden administration to take 10-year-olds, stick them on a plane alone, and deport them without any chance to seek protection as required by law.

It is a truly monstrous request.
Stephen Miller and Gene Hamilton are two of the architects of family separation.

Now they've joined forces with Ken Paxton in an attempt to carry out another wave of cruelty against the most vulnerable people out there; unaccompanied migrant children.
Today's lawsuit shows once again that there is no level of cruelty against immigrant children too high for Stephen Miller and his ilk to celebrate.

They happily use children as pawns in their war against migrants, seeking to inflict as much cruelty as possible as deterrence.
Read 4 tweets
22 Apr
Mike Pence's claim that Biden "inherited the most secure southern border in American history" is some special kind of historical revisionism.

This piece is *riddled* with factual errors, and of course, leaves holes in his logic so gaping you could drive a truck through them.
Pence says that border apprehensions began growing "seemingly overnight."

In reality, by September 2020 apprehensions had risen to the point that we had already hit the highest level since September 2006.

Pence wants to pretend none of that happened and it all began in January.
Mike Pence: "seemingly overnight, illegal immigration surged to levels unseen since 2006."

Reality: a steady increase in apprehensions of single adults which began right after Title 42 went into place in spring 2020 and has been rising every single month since then.
Read 5 tweets
22 Apr
Biden has made only one major border policy change since January—ending MPP.

That decision had virtually no effect on apprehensions, since Title 42 had already effectively replaced MPP in 2020. Just 1.19% of people encountered since Title 42 went into place were put into MPP.
People like @kausmickey like to say "Biden created this crisis through his policies" but when you ask them to point to any specific policy changes and make a case for why that change made more people come, they end up just falling back on the idea that it's just about rhetoric.
Other policy changes that Biden made also did not change the 2020 status quo. For example, PACR, HARP, and the asylum cooperative agreements had already been suspended since March 2020 due to COVID, and Title 42 was already suspended for unaccompanied kids when Biden took office.
Read 5 tweets
21 Apr
Ooh, charts! Okay, well, here's the Tucson Sector's apprehensions since 2016. Note how unlike in Yuma, the spike in apprehensions started in spring last year when Title 42 went into place. Somehow I doubt Governor Ducey is going to mention that?
Now, that last chart may look like a pretty big change over the last few years. But let's look at it in a bit more of a historical context.

Here's Tucson Sector Border Patrol Apprehensions, October 1999 to March 2021.

Puts things in context, eh?
Now, what about Yuma Sector? Well, things are a bit different there. Yuma's been really quiet much longer than Tucson Sector, but in the Trump administration it became a place for people to go to seek asylum. We're seeing that again today.
Read 4 tweets

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