During last night’s CNN debate, Democratic presidential candidates repeated their false assertions that President Trump has shown a particular race-based cruelty in how it processes illegal immigrant children at the southern border. In a fact check by The Associated Press, writers Calvin Woodward, Amanda Seitz, and Hope Yen clarify that these misleading claims are “one of the most persistent distortions by the 2020 Democrats.”
“The facilities are sectioned-off, chain-link indoor pens where children who come to the border without adults or who are separated from adults in detention are temporarily housed,” write Woodward, Seitz and Yen. “The children are divided by age and sex. A year ago, Associated Press photographs showing young people in such enclosures were misrepresented online as depicting child detentions by Trump and denounced by some Democrats and activists as illustrating Trump’s cruelty. In fact, the photos were taken in 2014 during the Obama administration. Many Democrats continue to exploit the imagery of “babies in cages” — as Harris put it — without acknowledging Obama used the facilities, too. His administration built the McAllen, Texas, center with chain-link holding areas in 2014.”
Woodward, Seitz and Yen describe the holding areas as “standard fare throughout administrations,” e.g., not based on some unethical, racial standard.
“Under Trump, journalists have witnessed migrants crowded into fetid chain-link quarters,” Woodward, Seitz and Yen write. “But the facilities are standard fare through administrations and the caged-babies accusations stand as one of the most persistent distortions by the 2020 Democrats.”