President Joe Biden appears to be depriving progressives of one of their favorite talking points to use in disparaging former President Donald Trump.
As reports predict a renewed surge of immigrants to the U.S.-Mexico border, Biden is playing defense against leftists who say he is overseeing a policy that puts “kids in cages” after opening up child migrant facilities.
“Horrifying scenes at the border”
Of course, Biden was among those in his party who attacked the Trump administration for allegedly treating undocumented migrants with cruelty, in large part through the policy of detaining minors.
At the height of a 2019 migrant crisis, Biden blasted Trump for “horrifying scenes at the border of kids being kept in cages, tear-gassing asylum seekers, ripping children from their mothers’ arms.”
Furthermore, he vowed in no uncertain terms to put an end to the practice if he were elected president.
On Monday, however, he reportedly reopened such a facility to house child migrants in Texas.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki was asked about the issue during a news conference but attempted to dismiss concerns while blaming the COVID-19 pandemic for limited capacity in holding facilities.
“It’s a temporary reopening”
“This is not kids being kept in cages,” she claimed. “It’s a temporary reopening during COVID-19.”
Psaki’s answers struck at least some on the left as unsatisfactory, however, and critics have described the policy as a betrayal from a president who promised to be more liberal than even former President Barack Obama on the issue of immigration. After all, it was Obama who initially instituted the so-called “cages” used to house minors.
For her part, U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez posted a tweet thread on Tuesday denouncing the Biden administration’s practice.
This is not okay, never has been okay, never will be okay – no matter the administration or party. https://t.co/AEV7s7QQnB
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) February 23, 2021
To be fair, Psaki seemed to make a rational point in insinuating that Biden is simply making the best choice he can in a difficult situation. By the same token, however, those who are willing to give him a pass after demonizing Trump for the same behavior are clearly opening themselves up for accusations of hypocrisy.