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“False”: Politifact Slaps Down Rubio’s Claim That The Undocumented Immigrant Population Has Increased

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Here’s more of that #TrumpEffect in action.

During a “Meet the Press” appearance on Sunday, Presidential candidate Marco Rubio continued to cement his hardliner stance on immigration by claiming that the number of undocumented immigrants in the United States has actually increased.

“We are worse off today than we were five years ago,” Rubio told host Chuck Todd. “We have more illegal immigrants here.”

You’d think that Rubio, as one of the authors of the Senate’s 2013 comprehensive immigration reform bill, would be pretty knowledgeable about this kind of information.

But times have changed, and now Rubio has dropped that bill like a hot potato and, in an effort to appeal to the nativist voters of the GOP primary base, appears to be gathering his facts from those same questionable sources as Donald Trump (a lost cause for Rubio anyway — it looks all but certain Trump will take Iowa tonight).

Anyway, according to Huffington Post, Rubio never did back up the claim he made to Todd, and when reporter Elise Foley attempted to contact multiple Rubio staffers for further clarification about what he meant exactly, never heard back from them either.

Foley probably never heard back for a pretty big reason: Rubio’s claim about an increase in numbers just isn’t true. The fact-checkers over at Politifact slapped down his claim with a big fat “False,” saying:

Multiple estimates show that the illegal immigrant population has stabilized, or even decreased, from its peak in 2007 through 2014, the latest available data. According to Pew, the illegal immigrant population was 11.3 million in 2014, down from 11.4 million five years prior in 2010. This is in sharp contrast to dramatic and steady increases throughout the 1990s and early 2000s.

Another report from the Center for Migration Studies found that the total undocumented immigrant population in the United States declined to 10.9 million in 2014, making it the lowest level in well over a decade. And, thanks to record enforcement, the border is the most secure its been in decades.

“There is no exact count of undocumented immigrants in the US,” Foley writes, but the data we do have shows that the numbers are going down, not up as Rubio, Trump, and other immigration hardliners and fibbers are busy claiming along the campaign trail.

Marco, we’d certainly love to hear you explain your reason for misrepresenting the facts, or where you got your information from. But we won’t hold our breath.