Amid Immigration Battle, Stefanik Blasts Washington Post Fact Checkers

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Michael Ginsberg Congressional Correspondent
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Republican New York Rep. Elise Stefanik is feuding with Washington Post fact checkers amid her party’s focus on immigration enforcement.

The Post gave Stefanik two “Pinocchios” for her claim that 170,000 illegal immigrants were detained at the United States’ southern border for three months in a row for the first time since 2000. Stefanik pointed out Tuesday, however, that The Washington Post cited the same statistic in a June 9 article about illegal immigration.

A two “Pinocchio” claim is one that includes “significant omissions and/or exaggerations,” as well as “some factual error.”

“My statement is 100% accurate,” Stefanik told the Daily Caller. “Whether an illegal is processed after apprehension at the southern border under Title 42 or Title 8 does not negate the irrefutable fact that total apprehensions according to Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) are at a 20-year high. The Washington Post’s own reporting confirms this irrefutable fact.” (RELATED: WaPo Fact Checkers End Trump ‘False Claims Project,’ No ‘Plans’ To Start One For Biden)

The fact check revolves around Title 42, a provision in immigration law that allows authorities to “expel” illegal immigrants who are “encountered” at the southern border. Those illegal immigrants are not subject to deportation proceedings because they are not formally “captured.”

The Trump administration began using Title 42 in 2020 to quickly remove illegal immigrants during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Biden administration is expected to end the practice July 31. On Tuesday, Republicans lost a House of Representatives floor vote on a bill that would keep Title 42 in place.

The article does note that Stefanik was correct in her claim that 2000 “was the last time apprehensions reached 170,000 during three straight months.” However, it also claims that Stefanik’s comparison is “not apples to apples,” because a “surging recidivism rate this year indicates that apprehensions of unique individuals are actually down compared with 2019.”

Despite the aforementioned claim, The Washington Post published multiple articles in the past month citing similar statistics.

A June 9 Post article noted that “CBP data published [the same day] show[ed] illegal crossing at a new 20-year high,” and a June 10 article said, “the number of apprehensions over the past five months is even larger than the annual total in 2019.”

“The HACK ‘Fact Checkers’ of the Washington Post are the only rag in the swamp that will give two ‘Pinocchios’ for citing factually accurate data that they have published in their own paper,” Stefanik continued. “This is what I mean about putting the House Republican Conference on offense to expose the media for the frauds they are. Republicans will not take the bait. No amount of shilling from the Washington Post will change the fact that Joe Biden created the most dangerous and significant border crisis in over 20 years.”

The Washington Post Fact Checker did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller’s request for comment.