Fact Check: Trump Treating Illegals as Well or Better Than Obama

Fact Check: Trump Treating Illegals as Well or Better Than Obama
Central American migrants wait for food in El Paso, Texas, Wednesday, March 27, 2019, in a pen erected by U.S. Customs and Border Protection to process a surge of migrant families and unaccompanied minors. (AP Photo/Cedar Attanasio)

On Twitter this morning, “Notwokieleaks” wrote, “Many believe more immigrants are dying in ICE custody under Trump than under Obama.” But the numbers — you know, facts, those pesky things — tell a different story. He added, “The numbers are roughly equal at about 1 death per month, even though Trump is handling more immigrants.”

One death is too many, but certainly not surprising given the condition some of these people were in when the left their home countries, not to mention possibly dehydration, malnutrition, and exposure to infectious disease along the way. Also, sometimes people just die, sad to say — and in groups as large as the ones surging across our southern border, one a month might even be a bit low.

Again, courtesy of Notwokieleaks, here’s a PDF of deaths in ICE custody from October 1, 2003 to June 5, 2017. By my count, 67 illegals died (1.39 per month) during the Obama administration, often from conditions like cancer, diabetes, or hypertension. And those preexisting conditions had zero to do with being held by ICE. It might even be possible — likely? — that they received better emergency treatment in ICE custody than they might have gotten in their own countries. People don’t flee here because conditions are worse, after all.

Adding in more recent data found here, a further 26 illegals — slightly less than one per month, on average — have died under detention since Donald Trump was sworn in. I’d remind you that Trump’s slightly lower monthly average is despite the year-long surge in illegal border-crossings, which has gotten so bad that even Democrats have recently been forced to concede that there is indeed a crisis.

But even then, the raw numbers probably make the situation look worse than it actually is. Actual causes of death seem to be largely from preexisting health issues. No one was killed in gas chambers or in tortuous medical experiments or from random beatings, etc. You know, the whole Nazi Concentration Camp Narrative some are trying so desperately to sell you.

Take this example from NBC News:

Johana Medina Leon, 25, complained of chest pains and was brought to Del Sol Medical Center in El Paso, Texas. The transgender woman from El Salvador seeking asylum in the United States died June 1, 2019, in a Texas hospital four days after being released from custody.

Whatever Leon’s actual health problems were, “she” wasn’t even in ICE custody when NBC decided to make her death a national story. Or as Corey Price, field office director for ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations in El Paso, put it last month: “This is yet another unfortunate example of an individual who illegally enters the United States with an untreated, unscreened medical condition.” He also noted that “many of these aliens attempt to enter the United States with untreated or unknown diseases, which are not diagnosed until they are examined while in detention.” In other words, some illegals were too sick to travel, but either didn’t know it or didn’t care enough.

Or take this case from April:

Abel Reyes-Clemente, 54, a Mexican national in the custody of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) at the Florence Service Processing Center (SPC) passed away Wednesday morning after efforts by medical staff and local paramedics to revive him were unsuccessful. An autopsy is pending to determine the official cause of death.

The poor guy suffered a heart attack, received emergency treatment, and after paramedics were unable to revive him, was scheduled for an autopsy to determine the cause of death. To repeat: These ain’t exactly concentration camp conditions.

It’s sad when anyone dies so young. It’s sadder still when they die so far from their friends and families. It’s even sadder that people with preexisting health conditions would rather take their chances with U.S. law enforcement than receive whatever care is available at home. But if you think the surge is a crisis now, just imagine what it will be like if any of the 2020 crop of Democratic presidential contenders fulfill their pledge to make health care free for any and all who cross our borders illegally.