The media ran a big story blaming the Trump Administration’s immigration policies for the US having 100,000 children in detention.
There were a few problems with the story.
On Monday, Manfred Nowak, who leads a U.N. Global Study on Children Deprived of Liberty that was published this week, told reporters: “We have more than — still more than — 100,000 children in migration-related detention in the United States of America.” The Associated Press and other major news organizations reported that figure.
But on Tuesday, he told The AP that figure was drawn from a U.N. refugee agency report citing data from 2015, the latest figure his team could find. That was before U.S. President Donald Trump, whose policies on migration have drawn criticism, was elected.
Nowak also said the figure of over 100,000 referred to the cumulative number of migrant children held in detention at any point during that year, whether “for two days or eight months or the whole year,” not all simultaneously.
Thus, the 100,000 figure referred to “at any point during that year” (even if for less than a day), the year was incorrect, and blamed the wrong presidential administration.
AFP and Reuters have withdrawn the report, apparently finding it was so wrong as to be not correctable. The original report included paragraphs blaming the Trump administration – but he did not take office until January 2017.