From the June 19 edition of MSNBC's MSNBC Live with Velshi and Ruhle:
STEPHANIE RUHLE (HOST): DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, we've been saying her name a lot these days. She's justifying family separation by saying there is a huge jump in smugglers and gang members using kids unrelated to them to try to get inside the U.S. But Ms. Nielsen, I hope you're watching. For fact's sake, you need to know some context. Here is specifically what Secretary Nielsen said at yesterday's White House briefing.
KIRSTJEN NIELSEN (SECRETARY OF HOMELAND SECURITY): In the last five months we've had a 314 percent increase in adults and children arriving at the border fraudulently claiming to be a family unit.
RUHLE: Come on, now. The Washington Post points out this is actually a teeny tiny fraction of the families apprehended during that time period. Listen up. In fiscal year 2017, there were 46 cases where people falsely claimed the children they were travelling with were actually theirs. In the first five months of fiscal year 2018, there was 191 of these cases, which is in fact an increase of 315 percent. Those numbers sound big, right?
But here's where the context couldn't be more important. In the first five months of this fiscal year, more than 31,000 families were apprehended at the border. So if we know 191 of them were fraudulent, that is less than 1 percent. To put it another way, for every 1,000 families who are approached at the border at that time, only 6 involved are pretending to be a child's parent. That is 6 out of 1,000. Six out of 1,000. It's like saying all homeless people must be drunks or broken out of an insane asylum. It's absurd.