Back in January of 2018, the Justice Department and Homeland Security released a report that claimed to prove a connection between terrorism and immigration. The findings backed up Donald Trump’s decision to issue a travel ban on Muslim-majority countries the previous year. The only problem was that almost all of the data in the report was exaggerated or simply untrue.
The report prompted lawsuits by several organizations under the obscure Information Quality Act, demanding that the government retract the incorrect information. The agencies said no, and courts allowed the lawsuits to go into an administrative appeal.
Twice now, the DOJ has had to admit that parts of the report were inaccurate. But after two rounds of court cases, they still refuse to amend the initial findings.
Now, the Justice Department has issued a final decision, saying they won’t retract the bunk data, according to the Washington Post.
“[In] future reports, the department can strive to minimize the potential for misinterpretation,” Michael H. Allen, a deputy assistant attorney general, wrote in a letter to the plaintiffs.
The details of what the DOJ and DHS got wrong in the report are disturbing.
One example from the Post:
One flaw the Justice Department acknowledged was the report’s assertion that between 2003 and 2009, immigrants were convicted of 69,929 sex offenses, which “in most instances constitutes gender-based violence against women.”
This is, it turns out, bullshit. The number is not based on a six year period, but in fact the years 1955 to 2010—55 years! Furthermore, this number is based on arrests, not convictions, including arrests for multiple crimes.
But the government doesn’t care. Allen called the mistakes “mere editorial errors which the [law] does not obligate the agencies to withdraw or correct.”
Essentially: we said a huge number of immigrants are rapists, based on totally made up data, but we don’t have to correct it, so we’re not going to.
“There is no requirement in either the [law or department guidelines] that agencies must always provide underlying data when disseminating information to the public,” Allen added.
This is apparently true. But so are these lies now, in the minds of most of the public who read them on conservative memes or heard them screamed out of Fox News. Congrats, Trump administration, your plan worked.