Fact check of the day
On Monday, President Trump again took to Twitter to promote what he called his accomplishments in office so far on immigration, the economy and North Korea.
This is my 500th. Day in Office and we have accomplished a lot - many believe more than any President in his first 500 days. Massive Tax & Regulation Cuts, Military & Vets, Lower Crime & Illegal Immigration, Stronger Borders, Judgeships, Best Economy & Jobs EVER, and much more...— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 4, 2018
The White House also released a fact sheet touting the arrest of 110,568 undocumented immigrants from Jan. 20, 2017, to Sept. 30, 2017 — a 42 percent increase from the same period in 2016.
It said 92 percent of the immigrants had either already been convicted of a crime, faced pending charges, were considered a fugitive from Immigration and Customs Enforcement or were about to be deported from the United States.
Data on the ICE website show that there was a total 143,470 overall immigration arrests in the fiscal year that ran from Oct. 1, 2016, to Sept. 30, 2017. ICE called it the “highest number of administrative arrests over the past three fiscal years,” and confirmed the White House number for arrests under Mr. Trump.
The ICE data also confirmed the 92 percent figure cited by the White House and reported 77,806 arrests between Jan. 20 and Sept. 30 in 2016 — indeed, 42 percent fewer than during the same period in 2017.
ICE also removed 61,094 undocumented immigrants from the United States between Jan. 20, 2017, and Sept. 30, 2017. During that same period in 2016, the agency reported removing 44,512 immigrants.
What was said
“Nearly 3 million jobs have been created since President Trump took office.” — “President Donald J. Trump’s 500 days of American Greatness,” issued by the White House, June 4.
“Under President Trump, the unemployment rate has dropped to 3.8, the lowest rate since April 2000.” — “President Donald J. Trump’s 500 days of American Greatness,” issued by the White House, June 4.
“African-American and Hispanic unemployment rates have hit record lows.” — “President Donald J. Trump’s 500 days of Strengthening the American Economy,” issued by the White House, June 4.
The factsThis needs context.
Yes, the unemployment rate has fallen to 3.8 percent, its lowest level since the dot-com boom in early 2000, and about three million jobs have been added since he took office. But those trends had been underway long before the Trump administration.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2.1 million jobs were added to the economy in 2017. It was the seventh consecutive year that two million or more jobs were added — meaning that the turnaround began on President Barack Obama’s watch.
May’s increase of 223,000 jobs, which reflected healthy gains across industries, was the 92nd consecutive month of job creation.
In May, unemployment among African-Americans did hit a record low — falling to 5.9 percent from 6.6 percent in April — but the Labor Department has been breaking out unemployment by race only since 1972. And the unemployment rate for black citizens has been on a steady decline since about 2011.
What was said
“Under President Trump, the United States has led an unprecedented global campaign to achieve the peaceful denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.” — “President Donald J. Trump’s 500 days of American Greatness,” issued by the White House, June 4.
The factsThis needs context.
Since Mr. Trump took office, his relationship with Kim Jong-un, the North Korean leader, has been fraught. Last year was marked by chilling threats of nuclear war, giving way to a diplomatic opening that is expected to include a historic summit meeting between the two leaders next week.
Mr. Trump has already called off the meeting once, only to turn it back on days later. As of Monday, the June 12 meeting set for Singapore was still on.
In March, it seemed that Mr. Kim was open to ending his nuclear weapons program, and in May, North Korea released three American prisoners, a promising gesture.
But with the pendulum swiftly swinging, the White House’s statement could be seen as premature. Experts have said that nuclear disarmament could take 15 years.