GOP senator busted for using fake statistics about asylum-seekers


Sen. Martha McSally (R-AZ) lied about asylum-seekers coming to the United States in a recent interview.

Rather than tell the truth, Sen. Martha McSally (R-AZ) gave a false statement about the percentage of asylum-seekers who have a legitimate claim to stay in the United States, the Arizona Republic reported Sunday.

In a late-May television interview, McSally falsely claimed that more than 90% of asylum claims "are not legitimate asylum cases." According to the Arizona Republic fact-check, this claim is "misleading" and "leaves out a large portion of those seeking asylum in the United States and ignores the complicated processes immigration courts must adhere to."

The paper points out that there are different ways people can request asylum, affirmative or defensive, and different methods for granting asylum — through a federal judge or by a U.S. customs officer. McSally based her claim on a narrow set of defensive asylum-seekers, where cases were decided by a judge, and only from three Central American countries: Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.

An honest assessment of even just defensive asylum cases shows 21% of asylum-seekers were granted asylum in 2018. Further, many minors "apply for asylum directly to the USCIS, where an asylum officer considers and grants the claim to asylum."

McSally's attack on asylum-seekers through misinformation lines up with Trump's anti-immigrant agenda. Like Trump, McSally wants to jail children and families for longer than current law allows.

In the same interview, McSally whined about the current legal limitations forbidding the federal government from jailing children for longer than 20 days. McSally wants to subject kids to conditions at border facilities for longer periods of time.

Recent news reports exposed horrific conditions at these facilities. Children are forced to sleep on cold concrete floors in overcrowded conditions, are denied showers, and are fed uncooked frozen meals. One doctor who observed children compared the detention camps to "torture facilities."

McSally represents a border state in the U.S. Senate, and she is unwilling or unable to be truthful about the conditions on the border. Her approach to immigration — including a disturbing lack of candor — line up with Trump, but not with reality.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.