“Kids in cages” was one of the most pervasive soundbites of Donald Trump’s presidency. With President Joe Biden in the White House, child migrants are still being detained.
Biden opened a child migrant facility in Texas this week that not long ago was attacked as a symbol of Trump’s alleged cruelty, the Washington Examiner reported. The decision has conservatives complaining of hypocrisy, and liberals crying foul over broken promises.
No protest for Biden opening facility
The facility in Carrizo Springs, Texas was opened for about a month in the summer of 2019 to help stem the tide of a border crisis. At the time, the opening was greeted with a sizable protest, as Democrats nationwide toured detention centers and ginned up moral outrage against Trump, who they called a fascist.
But as Biden faces a surge of his own, his administration reopened the Carrizo emergency shelter Monday to house about 700 unaccompanied minors. He is also opening a facility in Homestead, Florida, that presidential hopefuls visited in 2019 to boost their anti-Trump profiles.
Critics are calling Biden a hypocrite, given how he and other Democrats made Trump’s allegedly cruel treatment of migrants such a big theme during his presidency.
Liberals cry foul over broken promises
Former President Barack Obama’s immigration record sometimes landed Biden in hot water with liberals during his presidential campaign — Biden called it a “mistake” — and Trump himself didn’t hesitate to point out that it was Obama who built the “cages.” Biden’s latest moves have the far left saying that he is already backpedaling on promises to approach immigration differently.
“It’s unnecessary, it’s costly, and it goes absolutely against everything [President] Biden promised he was going to do,” said Linda Brandmiller, a Texas immigration lawyer for unaccompanied children. “It’s a step backward, is what it is. It’s a huge step backward.”
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), one of the most vocal critics of Trump’s immigration policy, said that Biden’s move is “not OK, never has been OK, never will be OK — no matter the administration or party.”
Biden faces a crisis
Although some liberals may be crestfallen, Biden is by no means an immigration hardliner like Trump, who took many controversial steps to enforce the immigration laws. No policy was criticized more than “zero tolerance,” which led to families being separated. Although Trump stopped separating families, “zero tolerance” was not officially canceled until Biden.
Biden has been making an aggressive effort to reset immigration policy on a more “humane” footing, proposing a sweeping amnesty plan for millions of illegal immigrants and relaxing enforcement in a number of ways.
Critics warn that Biden is encouraging a repeat of the 2019 border crisis, which saw families and unaccompanied children overwhelm the system.