Michelle Obama had some sharp words for President Trump on immigration during her pre-recorded keynote address that was broadcast during the Democratic National Convention on Monday night. Americans, she said, “watch in horror as children are torn from their families and thrown into cages.”
What the former first lady didn’t mention was that the “cages” were built during her husband’s and Joe Biden’s administration.
And yes, they put immigrant children in them as well.
Two former Obama administration officials have also publicly acknowledged this fact.
“I’ve been to that facility, where they talk about cages. That facility was built under President Obama under (Homeland Security) Secretary Jeh Johnson. I was there because I was there when it was built,” said Obama’s executive associate director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Thomas Homan, last June. “If you want to call them cages, call them cages. But if the left wants to call them cages and the Democrats want to call them cages then they have to accept the fact that they were built and funded in FY 2015.”
Johnson not only admitted it happened on their watch, but defended the policy as well. “During that 72-hour period, when you have something that is a multiple — like four times of what you’re accustomed to in the existing infrastructure, you’ve got to find places quickly to put kids,” he explained. “Chain link barriers, partitions, fences, cages — whatever you want to call them — were not invented in January 2017.”
The media actually reported on the migrant detention facilities when they were built during the Obama-Biden years, but those reports didn’t generate any outrage at the time. In July of 2019, Democrats on the House Oversight Committee even held a hearing on “Kids and Cages” and used a photo of immigrant children sleeping on a concrete floor in “cages” to promote the hearing on Twitter. They didn’t realize at the time that the photo they used was from 2014, when Joe Biden was vice president, to promote the hearing.
There is a lot of photographic evidence of migrant detention facilities during the Obama years, with children crowded in caged areas, sleeping on concrete floors, that just didn’t resonate with the media or the political left at the time. It’s almost as though they were trying to protect Obama’s legacy, as well as Joe Biden’s candidacy.
Joe Biden denied putting kids in cages during a September 2019 Democratic Primary debate. “What Latinos should look at is … comparing [Trump] to [Obama] is outrageous,” Biden said. “Number one, we didn’t lock up people up in cages, we didn’t separate families… we didn’t do all of those things.”
Biden was later called out about this lie during an interview with Univision’s Jorge Ramos.
“At the debate in Houston, you said that during the Obama-Biden administration, ‘We didn’t lock people in cages,’ but you actually did,” Ramos told Biden, and showed him a picture to prove it.
Suddenly, being faced with evidence of lie, Biden immediately started rationalizing. “What happened was all the unaccompanied children were coming across the border,” he said. “We tried to get them out, we kept them safe, and get them out of the detention center… run by Homeland Security and get them into communities as quickly as we can.”
Biden went from claiming he didn’t put kids in cages at all to saying the cages were there to keep the kids “safe,” and insisted that what happened under the Obama-Biden administration was completely different.
“You know you’re not telling the truth here about the comparison of the two things,” Biden replied. “Look how quickly we got them out and got them back to families, look at how … we sought the relatives here, we sought to get them into safe communities. We sought to get them out of the control of Homeland Security to get them safe.”
But even this was a lie. According to a report from the Washington Post, the Obama-Biden administration “failed to protect thousands of Central American children who have flooded across the U.S. border since 2011, leaving them vulnerable to traffickers and to abuses at the hands of government-approved caretakers.” Under Obama and Biden, the Office of Refugee Resettlement, a division of the HHS department, “failed to do proper background checks of adults who claimed the children, allowed sponsors to take custody of multiple unrelated children and regularly placed children in homes without visiting the locations.”
Biden and Obama didn’t keep immigrant children safe, they put countless kids in the hands of sex traffickers. The Trump administration, however, has been aggressively trying to protect immigrant kids from traffickers.
Obama and Biden put kids in cages, that is a fact. It is also a fact that President Trump signed an executive order ending family separation.
Matt Margolis is the author of the new book Airborne: How The Liberal Media Weaponized The Coronavirus Against Donald Trump, and the bestselling book The Worst President in History: The Legacy of Barack Obama. You can follow Matt on Twitter @MattMargolis