Democrats and the media have hounded on the unfortunate recent deaths of a handful of would-be illegal immigrants while they were in the custody of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) — but these terrible tragedies aren’t unique to the Trump administration.
A recent study revealed that the number of deaths of individuals in DHS custody under President Donald Trump is consistent with the number of deaths under the administration of former President Barack Obama.
Democrats and media freak out
The Washington Examiner reported that DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen underwent an extensive grilling from Democrat lawmakers during recent committee hearings before the House and Senate about the deaths of immigrants who were being held in DHS custody after being apprehended for illicit border crossings.
The narrative put forward by Democrats and the media is that such deaths are entirely unprecedented. They allege the deaths reveal just how horribly the Trump administration mistreats illegal immigrants in custody.
However, a close look at the numbers by the Examiner revealed that illegal immigrants have died in custody at roughly the same rate under Trump as they did under the previous Obama administration.
Numbers stay consistent
According to data obtained from the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE) via a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, 10 individuals died in ICE custody in 2009, Obama’s first year in office.
Five people died in ICE custody in 2012, and 12 died in ICE custody in 2016, Obama’s final year in office.
Those numbers are comparable to what has been seen thus far in President Trump’s first two years: 10 immigrants died in custody in 2017, his first year in office, and 12 people died in custody in 2018, per the American Immigration Lawyers Association.
As of early March, there have been no reports of any deaths of individuals in ICE custody during the current fiscal year.
Incredibly, the number of deaths in custody under Trump and Obama are both far lower than the number of deaths in custody seen under the administration of former President George W. Bush, when a reported 32 people died in custody in 2004 and another 20 died in custody in 2005.
Liberal media narrative undermined
In other words, despite the hyperventilating from Democrats and the media about immigrant deaths in custody under the Trump administration, those admittedly sad instances are really no different than what occurred under the prior administration.
That revelation leaves Democrats and the media in something of a hypocritical dilemma. On one hand, President Obama could do no wrong whatsoever — but on the other, everything Trump does is terribly wrong no matter what.
When the two presidents have done the exact same thing, how does the liberal media countenance that?
Unfortunately, it is unlikely that any elected Democrats or media figures will admit that the death rate of illegal immigrants in government custody is the exact same under Trump as it was under Obama — but the numbers don’t lie.