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AP Deliberately Manipulates—Then Stealth Updates—Immigration Horror Story to Tie Obama-Era Abuse Case to Trump

On Wednesday night, the Associated Press ran an article that spread quickly Thursday morning across social media and other news outlets describing an horrific story of unbelievable abuse of minor immigrants in the custody and care of the United States government. Dubbed "Abu Ghraib for eighth-graders" by a Daily Beast reporter, the allegations in the explosive story included children being handcuffed, beaten, left in solitary confinement and, unimaginably, even worse.

In that Associated Press article describing these terrible and outrageous conditions, President Donald Trump's name came up four times. It makes sense that Trump and his immigration policy would be a part of the story, considering the news of the last week regarding family separation and the detainment and detention of minor children.

However, the allegations in this article covered a time period prior to Trump ever taking office. The specific court case cited involves alleged incidents occurring before and during 2016, when Trump was still on the campaign trail and we had a different president.

That president, Barack Obama, was mentioned exactly zero times in the article.

Below is an excerpt from the court filing against Shenandoah Valley Juvenile Center near Staunton, Virginia. The dates are clearly shown. The dates are not, though, *clearly* shown in the AP article. Instead, the lawsuit and allegations are described in summaries and quotes, and interspersed with commentary like this:

Many of the children were sent there after U.S. immigration authorities accused them of belonging to violent gangs, including MS-13. President Donald Trump has repeatedly cited gang activity as justification for his crackdown on illegal immigration.

Trump said Wednesday that “our Border Patrol agents and our ICE agents have done one great job” cracking down on MS-13 gang members. “We’re throwing them out by the thousands,” he said.

And this:

Most children held in the Shenandoah facility who were the focus of the abuse lawsuit were caught crossing the border illegally alone. They were not the children who have been separated from their families under the Trump administration’s recent policy and are now in the government’s care. But the facility there operates under the same program run by the U.S. Office of Refugee Resettlement.

That was subtle, making it seem as if the material difference isn't the time of the detention but rather the manner of it and the details of the apprehension. They weren't separated but crossing alone, it says. Not "This was years before Trump."

They also finally include this line:

It was not immediately clear whether any separated children have been sent to Shenandoah Valley since the Trump administration in April announced its “zero tolerance” policy toward immigrant families, after the lawsuit was filed.

It's not "clear" if any of the recently newsworthy separated children made it to this specific facility, they say. Oh, also the "zero tolerance" policy was enacted after the lawsuit was filed. But still no "the alleged incidents occurred during the Obama administration under Obama policy while Obama was president and not Trump."