After criticizing the Trump administration for keeping “kids in cages,” President Joe Biden is now reopening the same border detention centers. The Biden White House is now under fire for hypocrisy. The current administration reopened border facilities to house migrant teenagers. Ironically, these facilities are exactly what Democrats reviled during last year’s election campaign.
Separating Migrant Families
Democrats led by Biden called out Trump for separating migrant families and not doing anything to reunite them. Biden said “migrant children were “ripped from their [parents’] arms and separated” during a televised debate last year. In 2018, then-senator (now Vice President) Kamala Harris described Trump’s actions as a “ “crime against humanity” and called for a closure of the facilities.
Last Monday, the Department of the Health and Human Services reopened the same border detention centers in Texas. The objective is to house up to 700 migrants between 13 to 1 years old. Another similar facility in Florida will reopen. The decision to reopen the detention centers took immigration advocates by surprise. Many condemned the Biden administration of hypocrisy given their pre-election stance.
Just a Temporary Measure
Meanwhile, White House press secretary Jen Psaki insisted the decision was a temporary measure for unaccompanied minors. The COVID-19 pandemic requires that individuals have enough space. “To ensure the health and safety of these kids, HHS took steps to open an emergency facility to add capacity where these kids can be provided the care they need before they are safely placed with families and sponsors,” she explained.
“So it’s a temporary reopening during COVID-19, our intention is very much to close it, but we want to make sure we can follow COVID protocols,” Psaki said. In addition, she said the goal is to transfer the kids to families or sponsors. “This is our effort to ensure that kids are not in close proximity and that we are abiding by the health and safety standards that the government has been set out,” she noted.
They’re Not Kids in Cages
When asked if the administration’s action put “kids in cages,” Psaki rejected the notion. Psaki seemed unaware that in denying this, she debunked the Democrats’ own accusations. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio called the Homestead center a “prison camp,” and Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez compared it to concentration camps.
Now, AOC tweeted in a more subdued tone. She started with “This is not okay, never has been okay, never will be okay – no matter the administration or party” but then cut the White House some slack. “Our immigration system is built on a carceral framework. It’s no accident that challenging how we approach both these issues are considered ‘controversial’ stances. They require reimagining our relationship to each other and challenging common assumptions we take for granted,” she tweeted.“It’s only 2 mos into this admin & our fraught, unjust immigration system will not transform in that time. That’s why bold reimagination is so (important),” she concluded.
Ironically, the border detention centers in question already existed before Trump used them. After Biden criticized Trump for a McAllen, Texas detention center during the debate, Trump countered with a question. “Who built the cages, Joe?” and told the audience that the center opened in 2014 when Biden was Vice President.
Citizenship for 11 Million Immigrants
Regardless, Biden proposed legislation to grant citizenship to 11 million illegal immigrants. However, they still have to sort the whole mess out. This includes using facilities to contain the influx of migrants. For now, they won’t call them cages. They’re just migrant facilities for children.
Watch the Fox News video reporting that the Biden administration will reopen detention centers for unaccompanied minors:
Do you agree that Democrats judged Trump too harshly in the use of migrant centers? Do you think Biden and other Democrats owe the previous administration an apology? Let us know what you think and share your comments!