The front page of a newspaper with the headline “Fake News” which illustrates the current phenomena. Front section of newspaper is on top of loosely stacked remainder of newspaper. All visible text is authored by the photographer. Photographed in a studio setting on a white background with a slight wide angle lens.
Just a few weeks ago, the Washington Post ran a story that accused the Trump Administration of seeking to revoke the literal birth certificates of some Texans who were born along the Texas-Mexico border and whose birth was assisted by a midwife rather than a physician.
On paper, he’s a devoted U.S. citizen.
His official American birth certificate shows he was delivered by a midwife in Brownsville, at the southern tip of Texas. He spent his life wearing American uniforms: three years as a private in the Army, then as a cadet in the Border Patrol and now as a state prison guard.
But when Juan, 40, applied to renew his U.S. passport this year, the government’s response floored him. In a letter, the State Department said it didn’t believe he was an American citizen.
As he would later learn, Juan is one of a growing number of people whose official birth records show they were born in the United States but who are now being denied passports — their citizenship suddenly thrown into question. The Trump administration is accusing hundreds, and possibly thousands, of Hispanics along the border of using fraudulent birth certificates since they were babies, and it is undertaking a widespread crackdown.
But under President Trump, the passport denials and revocations appear to be surging, becoming part of a broader interrogation into the citizenship of people who have lived, voted and worked in the United States for their entire lives.
“We’re seeing these kind of cases skyrocketing,” said Jennifer Correro, an attorney in Houston who is defending dozens of people who have been denied passports.
This story created all kinds of angst from open borders types and from a lot of nice-guy Republicans who claim to support the administration when it does the right thing but nothing just ever seems to be right.
In an amazing act of journalism in the Age of Trump, the Huffington Post has posted this: Bombshell Washington Post Story On Trump Passport Crackdown Withheld, Distorted Key Facts.
But the Post withheld key data, mischaracterized information and lobbed an allegation of fraud at a deceased doctor without speaking to his family members, who complained publicly, HuffPost has found. The piece has been substantially altered three times, including Thursday after multiple queries from HuffPost.
A Washington Post story alleged that Donald Trump’s administration is increasingly scrutinizing birth certificates signed by some midwives, but State Department data contradicts that claim.
The paper cited a number of specific policies to support its allegation of a crackdown: supposedly heightened scrutiny of birth certificates signed by midwives suspected of peddling fraudulent documents, supposedly unprecedented passport denials to people born far from the border, and a supposedly new focus on babies delivered by one Texas doctor.
All three practices predate Trump.
But when the State Department provided HuffPost the raw number of passport denials in suspect midwife cases along the border, those numbers contradicted the Post’s report. The number of denials steadily dropped, from a peak of 1,465 in 2015 to 971 last year. As of last month, the State Department appeared to be on pace to end 2018 with still fewer denials than last year. The total rejections in these cases since Trump took office number fewer than 1,600 ― not thousands.
This is pretty incredible and it is difficult to see how this string of errors was possibly made in good faith. The scope and starting date of three separate programs were misrepresented in the WaPo article while the Huffington Post was able to actually talk to the relevant agencies and get the real story.
Like the nasty political hit that the New York Times ran last week on Nikki Haley, it is sort of amazing that these monumentally skewed and distorted stories only run in one direction: against the Trump administration.
I’m on Facebook. Drop by and join the fun there.