According to CNN National Security Analyst Samantha Vinograd, former President Obama separated migrant children from their families and stuck them in metal cages “for their protection,” during a panel discussion criticizing President Trump’s border policies.
After playing a clip in which President Trump points out that the child separation policy began under Obama, CNN‘s Wolf Blitzer said: “The President, in the Oval Office with the Egyptian President, he denied CNN’s reporting and other reporting that he is thinking of reinstating zero-tolerance family separation policy. He repeated this accusation against President Obama. […] [Trump] stopped it after he authorized the zero-tolerance policy.”
Vinograd chimed in: “President Obama, when he separated children from their families, Wolf, it was for their protection. It was as if there was a risk of trafficking or other kind of harm that might have been incurred. But even if he did do that, why is Donald Trump saying that two wrongs make a right? Again, Obama wasn’t right, but he’s saying that because something is happening under President Obama, he’s repeating it and upping the ante. That’s an incredibly poor excuse. He’s systemized that inhumane treatment that, again, Obama was doing to protect children.”
Trump has noted Obama’s caging of children ever since controversy erupted last year when photos of caged migrant children taken during the Obama years were misattributed to the Trump administration.
After a laundry list of journalists and public figures angrily tweeted the photo – including CNN’s Hadas Gold, NYT Mag’s editor-in-chief Jake Silverstein, Obama speechwriter Jon Favreau and former LA mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, they deleted their tweets in shame when it emerged that the photo was taken in 2014, under Obama.
I don’t know what’s worse… Obama’s speech writer self-owning himself by sharing an article dating back to 2014 under Obama or him deleting his tweet showing that he doesn’t actually care about the kids and just wanted to dunk on Trump pic.twitter.com/98SBJEXeot
— Caleb Hull (@CalebJHull) May 27, 2018
As we noted last July, Trump’s 2020 campaign manager Brad Parscale raised a few eyebrows when he tweeted “Over 90,000 kids were detained under Obama. And no one cared.”
Over 90,000 kids were detained under Obama. And no one cared
— Brad Parscale (@parscale) June 20, 2018
The claim was “debunked” by AP – which published the misleading article: “NOT REAL NEWS: Obama didn’t separate 90,000 migrant families.”
For starters, Parscale said detained, not separated. AP then refers to a 2016 Senate subcommittee report that Parscale was referencing in which nearly 90,000 children were ‘placed with sponsors’ under Obama.
The false claim appears to stem from a January 2016 Senate subcommittee report that investigated how the Department of Health and Human Services, under the Obama administration, placed thousands of unaccompanied children illegally entering the country.
The subcommittee report found that from October 2013 through 2015 the federal agency placed nearly 90,000 children with a sponsor, after they were detained at the border without a legal guardian. The majority of those sponsors, the report found, were a parent or legal guardian living in the country. –AP
Except the children were ‘thrown in cages’ first…
Meanwhile, the Obama administration’s widespread abuse of detained migrants was sharply condemned by the ACLU and the University of Arizona.
One woman interviewed was detained for nearly a month in CADC while she was six months pregnant. She was shackled during transport to and from the facility. At the facility, she was denied monitoring or treatment for an ovarian cyst that posed a risk to herself and the fetus, and received no response to her requests for prenatal vitamins or extra padding for her bed.68 (Her case is described more fully in the box below.) Another woman interviewed was separated from her breastfeeding baby daughter, who was less than two months old, while she was detained in Eloy for two weeks. –University of Arizona
Among those findings are that women did not receive adequate medical or mental health care,were often mixed together with women serving criminal sentences, and were often transferred from faraway states. In most cases, researchers found that women were separated from at least one child. –ACLUAZ.org
Also overlooked is the fact that 80% of children entering the United States are separated from their parents when they’re shoved across the border with a human trafficker, and that migrants can seek asylum in the United States through one of the several U.S. consulates in Mexico.
There are eight U.S. consulates in Mexico. We have an embassy in Mexico. Why aren’t they seeking asylum there?
— Robert J. O'Neill (@mchooyah) June 22, 2018
Furthermore, in 2011, the average stay of an unaccompanied minor in an Obama-admin facility was 72 days, which dropped to 34 days in 2015. In 2018, the average length of time a unaccompanied minor stayed in ORR care was 60 days.
So to be clear – hundreds of thousands of migrant children whose parents sent them into the United States alone or with a human trafficker remained in Obama administration facilities for up to months at a time, before eventual release or repatriation.
Of course, it was for their protection according to CNN.