Election 2020

DHS Statement on Family Reunification Destroys Biden Debate Talking Point

(U.S. Customs and Border Protection's Rio Grande Valley Sector via AP)

In the debate last night, Joe Biden decided to hammer President Trump for the family separation policy at the southern border. His main talking point was the approximately 500 children who have not been reunited with their parents. Glenn Beck reached out to the Department of Homeland Security for a response and read it on the air in his post-debate coverage. The response regarding family reunification came from Chase Jennings at DHS:

This narrative has been dispelled on numerous occasions. DHS has taken every step to facilitate the reunification of these families where the parents wanted such reunification to occur. The simple fact is, after contact was made with the parents to reunite them with their children, many parents have refused. In the current litigation for example, out of the parents of 485 children whose plaintiff’s counsels have been able to contact, they have yet to identify a single family that wants their child reunited with them in their country. The result is the children remain in the U.S. while their parents remain in the home country. The reunification process is a whole of government approach involving CBP, ICE, and HHS.

It is not clear if these children arrived with their parents, who were then returned home, or if, as President Trump asserted, they had come with coyotes or human traffickers. Either option is possible, as Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) started getting aggressive about identifying minors who were with adults who were not their parents. One pilot program using a rapid DNA test found 30% of children were with an unrelated adult.

Biden is no stranger to the problem of separation of families at the southern border. Even CNN fact-checked the former Vice President during the Democrat primary when he claimed the Obama administration had not put children in cages or separated families. He repeated those claims in the second debate with Trump. According to CNN, the administration separated families when the parent was charged with a crime or if human trafficking was suspected.

The bigger problem was unaccompanied minors and human trafficking. In 2014, the number arriving swelled to 60,000, causing the media to dub it a crisis. That is the period of time when the cages were built, and the Obama administration grappled with how to handle the flow of minor children, usually transferred by coyotes. It was a tragic situation that caused a humanitarian crisis as well as a financial crisis. According to a White House press release, abuse is rampant during the journey, with 30% of migrants suffering from sexual abuse and 70% being subjected to violence.

President Obama knew this. The problem of adequately housing and tracking the thousands of children arriving was overwhelming the system. He talked about losing track of children in the process:

The situation of children who arrive at our border unaccompanied or with their parents can be tragic. Some are from countries with high levels of violent crime and are truly endangered. However, this does not mean catch-and-release is the correct policy, either. That Obama era policy is credited with an influx of transnational gang activity, such as that of MS-13.

Senator Barack Obama understood the need for border security and the limits of a welcoming nation’s ability to tolerate those who break immigration law.

It is astounding how far the Democrat Party has moved on this issue in just over a decade. Now their COVID-19 relief bill contains taxpayer-funded healthcare for illegal immigrants. And Joe Biden hasn’t just forgotten what state he is in and that a Poor Boy is a sandwich. He has forgotten the well-documented border crisis during the Obama administration. How can he possibly be trusted to lead?