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Ducey's data: Border numbers he blamed on Biden largely cover period when Trump was in office

Governor made his case in report from border on national newscast. 'Sunday Square Off' verified three key points.

In the shadow of President Donald Trump’s border wall, Republican Gov. Doug Ducey spoke to a national audience on ABC News last week about what he views as the failures of Democratic President Joe Biden.

(The last time Ducey was this close to a border wall, he was putting his signature on it, during Trump’s visit to Yuma in June 2020.)

On this weekend’s “Sunday Square Off,” we verified the border data Ducey recited to ABC’s Martha Raddatz on “This Week”:

“To have a 460% spike in illegal apprehensions, over 100,000 people in custody, 13,000 migrant children. This is a historic record for the agency… it’s been the reverse of the Trump policies and it needs attention.”

Let's break down those numbers:

“A 460% spike in illegal apprehensions at the border”:

 A Ducey spokesman told FactCheck.org that the percentage covers the 10 months from April 2020 through February 2021. 

We verified that the period includes the last nine months Trump was in office, when his border policies were in effect. Biden’s first policy changes came in February.

For those nine months under Trump, border encounters soared 365%, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

During Biden's first full month in office, in February, border encounters jumped more than 30% from the month before.

That February trend is expected to continue, according to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Border encounters for March will be reported this week.

“100,000 people in custody”:

 U.S. Customs and Border Patrol detained 96,974 migrants after crossing the border in February, but they haven't all been kept in custody. Not even close. 

We verified that under a Trump-era policy that Biden has extended - known as Title 42 - 72% of the migrants apprehended were turned around and expelled from the country, according to CBP statistics.

“13,000 migrant children”:

 This is the surge that’s getting much of the attention. The Biden Administration is not enforcing Title 42 with unaccompanied children.

We verified that as of Friday - six days after the governor’s interview - more than 18,000 children were in federal custody, according to DHS and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. 

The breakdown: 5,495 children transferred were in CBP custody, 12,551 in HHS custody.

HHS is the agency charged with caring for the children after they are handed off from CBP. 

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