In 2014, former President Barack Obama warned against sending kids to the border and spoke of a process in which his administration would ‘process them’ and ‘send them back’ while interviewing with George Stephanopoulos.
Stephanopoulos said, “You mentioned immigration. There’s a humanitarian crisis on the border. Some of your critics have said you have to speak out more directly to the people of Central America and say, don’t come. If you come, you will be deported.”
Obama stated, “Well, we actually we’ve done that. The problem is, is that under current law, once those kids come across the border, there’s a system in which we’re supposed to process them, take care of them until we can send them back.”
Stephanopoulos asked, “Is your message, don’t come?”
Obama also mentioned that children were coming across with ‘smugglers’
Obama answered, “Oh, our message absolutely is don’t send your children unaccompanied on trains or through a bunch of smugglers. That is our direct message to the families in Central America. Do not send your children to the borders. If they do make it, they’ll get sent back. More importantly, they may not make it.”
During the final debate between Trump and Biden, President Trump was attacked over ‘child separation’ policies and Trump addressed that many of these children come over with ‘coyotes’ who smuggle children and others across the U.S Mexican border.
Debate moderator Kristen Welker asked, “Mr. President, your administration separated children from their parents at the border, at least 4000 kids. You’ve since reversed your zero-tolerance policy, but the United States can’t locate the parents of more than 500 children. So how will these families ever be reunited?”
President Trump responded, “Children are brought here by coyotes and lots of bad people. Cartels. And they’re brought here. And they used to use them to get into our country. We now have as strong a border as we’ve ever had.”
President Trump countered these allegations by asking which administration built the ‘cages’
Trump continued, “We’re over 400 miles of brand new wall. You see the numbers and we let people in, but they have to come in legally and they come in through merit.”
Welker asked again, “How do you reunite these kids with their families, Mr. President?”
Trump said, “Let me just tell you. They built cages. You know, they used to say I built the cages and then they had a picture in a certain newspaper and it was a picture of these horrible cages. And they said, look at these cages. President Trump built them. And then it was determined they were built in 2014. That was him [Biden]. They built cages.”
Welker cut in again, “Do you have a plan to reunite the kids?”
Trump answered, “Yes. We’re working on it very well. We’re trying very hard. But a lot of these kids come out without the parents. They come over through cartels and through coyotes and through gangs.
Biden said, “They cannot- It’s not coyotes didn’t bring them over. Their parents were with them. They got separated from their parents. And it makes us a laughing stock and violates every notion of who we are as a nation.”
The moderator said to Biden, “Let me ask you a follow-up question.”
Trump said, “Kristen, they did it. We changed the policy. They did it.”
Welker the moderator asked Biden, “Your response to that?”
Trump said as Biden answered, “They built the cages.”
Biden answered, “We did not! They-“
Trump asked again, “Who built the cages, Joe?”
Biden then said, “Let’s talk about who we’re talking about.”
The Obama-era ‘cages’ were originally built to separate people by age and gender before processing.
Trump during the debate said, “They are so well taken care of. They’re in facilities that were so clean.”
Welker said in return, “But some of them haven’t been reunited with their families.”
Trump continued, “But just ask one question. Who built the cages? I’d love you to ask him that. Who built the cages?”
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