OOPS: WashPost ‘Fact Checker’ Promoted Un-Factual ‘There’s No Migrant Surge’ Article

On Tuesday, Washington Post “Fact Checker” Glenn Kessler promoted a very questionable Washington Post article using the headline “There’s no migrant ‘surge’ at the U.S. southern border. Here’s the data.”

After an uproar about their border “denialism,” the headline was revised to “The migrant ‘surge’ at the U.S. southern border is actually a predictable pattern.” (In other words, don’t blame Biden.) 

WashPost “Fact Checker” shares WashPost article titled “There’s no migrant ‘surge’ at the U.S. southern border.” https://t.co/DQIHfNbJpx
— Tim Graham (@TimJGraham) March 23, 2021

The article in the paper’s “Monkey Cage” section for academics was put together by Tom Wong, a professor at the University of California-San Diego, and two PhD. students, Gabriel DeRoche and Jesus Rojas Venzor. They cited Trump’s number in 2019: 

So have Biden administration policies caused a crisis at the southern border? Evidence suggests not. The Trump administration oversaw a record in apprehensions in fiscal year 2019, before the pandemic shut the border. This year looks like the usual seasonal increase, plus migrants who would have come last year but could not.

Wong & Co. also to back to 2012 through 2020 and claim that January and February (and March and April) are “surge” months, compared to hotter months when desert travel is dangerous. They averaged the monthly apprehensions to insist Biden’s surge will naturally fall off.

But they cite the 2021 apprehension numbers from the CBP for January and February are 78,442 and 100,441. A look at a chart from 2012 to 2017 shows the January and February numbers in earlier years are far lower than that. By my math, the average of those Januarys and Februarys is 34,119 and 35,739. This is an atypical surge, not a “usual seasonal increase.”

The Wong squad also ignore that candidate Biden in a 2019 debate defended himself against journalist/lobbyist Jorge Ramos, insisting “What I would do as president is several more things, because things have changed. I would, in fact, make sure that there is, we immediately surge to the border — all those people are seeking asylum, they deserve to be heard. That’s who we are. We’re a nation who says, if you want to flee, and you’re fleeing oppression, you should come.”

PS: There are two other relevant articles. The Federalist reports WaPo Fact-Checker Mum On Jennifer Rubin’s False Claim That There Is ‘No Surge’ At Border.

And The Daily Caller reports the Post also edited the Wong piece: 

Despite the new headline stating the surge is predictable, the revised Thursday version of the article incorporates a new section dedicated to the issue of illegal border crossings by children. It notes that there is in fact a surge in unaccompanied minors unexplained so far by pandemic delays or seasonal trends. The authors now refer to the influx of unaccompanied children flooding the southern border as likely “more than” a seasonal pattern.

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