Former first lady Michelle Obama claimed on Monday night that the Trump administration was taking children from their families and throwing them into cages but failed to mention that her husband, former President Barack Obama, was the one who built them.
Michelle Obama claimed that “right now, kids in this country are” watching “in horror as children are torn from their families and thrown into cages.”
Michelle’s remark was just one of many false or misleading statements that she made during her speech at the Democratic National Convention.
The Associated Press said that Michelle Obama’s remarks were “a frequent and distorted point made widely by Democrats.”
“But what she did not say is that the very same ‘cages’ were built and used in her husband’s administration, for the same purpose of holding migrant kids temporarily,” the AP reported. “Trump used facilities that were built during the Obama-Biden administration to house children at the border. They are chain-link enclosures inside border facilities where migrants were temporarily housed, separated by sex and age.”
“At the height of the controversy over Trump’s zero-tolerance policy at the border, photos that circulated online of children in the enclosures generated great anger. But those photos — by The Associated Press — were taken in 2014 and depicted some of the thousands of unaccompanied children held by President Barack Obama,” the report continued. “When that fact came to light, some Democrats and activists who had tweeted the photos deleted their tweets. But prominent Democrats have continued to cite cages for children as a distinctive cruelty of Trump.”
Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden has also made false statements about this issue, claiming that Obama “didn’t lock people up in cages.”
“What Latinos should look at is, comparing this president to the president we have is outrageous, number one,” Biden said. “We didn’t lock people up in cages. We didn’t separate families. We didn’t do all of those things, number one.”
Former Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, who served during the Obama administration, addressed a photo that showed him “walking past what appears to be children in cages.”
“Very clearly, chain link, barriers, partitions, fences, cages, whatever you want to call them, were not invented on Jan. 20, 2017, okay,” Johnson said, according to PolitiFact.
Johnson said that the photo was taken at the southern border, where a large numbers of illegal aliens were held, and noted that children had to be sent to Health and Human Services within three days.
“But 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,” Johnson said. “You can’t just dump 7-year-old kids on the streets of McAllen or El Paso. And so these facilities were erected, that one I think was a large warehouse, and they put those chain-link partitions up so you could segregate young women from young men from, you know, kids from adults, until they are either released or transferred to HHS. Is it ideal? Of course not.”
Johnson again addressed the photo during an interview on CBS News, saying, “the partitions you see, some call them cages, are meant to separate the women from the men, the girls from the boys. But these were temporary.”
Thomas Homan, Obama’s executive associate director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, said during an interview that the “chain link dividers that keeps children separate from unrelated adults” was about “protecting children.”
Homan said that Democrats “have to accept the fact that they were built and funded in FY 2015.”