AP falsely fact-checks accounts of terrorists apprehended at US-Mexico border

According to AP, the claim "At least 98 people on the terrorist watchlist have crossed the border into the US in fiscal year 2022" was missing context because after those individuals made it into the US, they were arrested.

Joshua Young North Carolina

Biden's border crisis saw a record number of 2,378,944 illegal immigrant encounters in the 2022 fiscal year, including 98 individuals on the terrorist watch list, which the Associated Press falsely claims is a fact missing context.

While outlets such as Fox News have reported on the 98 arrests, AP wrote on Thursday that "While the US Border Patrol has reported 98 encounters with people on the US government’s terrorist watchlist along the southwest border, those individuals were stopped by border agents, and did not escape into the US," which is another way of saying "arrested."

According to the outlet's fact-checkers, the claim "At least 98 people on the terrorist watchlist have crossed the border into the US in fiscal year 2022" was missing context because after those individuals made it into the US, they were arrested.

AP cited comments by Republicans, such as House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy, who wrote "FACT: at least 98 terrorism suspects illegally crossed our border in the last 12 months."

They also referenced a similar remark from Tennessee Sen. Marsha Blackburn, who said "98 people on the terrorist watchlist crossed the border into the U.S. in FY22 — that we know of. That is nearly 4 times higher than the last five years combined."

According to AP, a group of unidentified "experts" say that the GOP's claims are misleading because the 98 individuals were all eventually caught and detained by Border Patrol. 

The publication also claimed that the suspected terrorists were just a "sliver" of all the illegal immigrants who entered the US in the last fiscal year.

Later in the piece, Cornell professor Stephen Yale-Loehr was quoted, saying "To say that 98 terrorists made it into the US is an exaggeration" because the "98 were all caught."

When questioned by AP, Blackburn and McCarthy's spokespeople referred the outlet to public information or stats on Customs and Border Patrol's website.

A senior fellow at the Atlantic Council and former deputy assistant secretary for counterterrorism policy at the US Department of Homeland Security, Thomas Warrick, told the AP "The mere fact that someone’s name is included in the watchlist does not necessarily mean that they are actually a terrorist."

Biden's border crisis has seen a record-high number of illegal immigrants pouring into the United States month after month.

When President Biden took office, he dramatically loosened restrictions along the southern border, creating a humanitarian crisis that reached a tragic epoch on June 28 when over 50 migrants, including two children, were found dead inside an 18-wheeler in San Antonio that was driven by a meth-addled trafficker. The bodies were packed with meat seasoning to disguise the smell.

Biden also drastically slowed the prosecution of illegal immigrants by almost 80 percent in 2021, despite the historic drug and human trafficking along the border.

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