The media and political class become more and more outraged over the Trump administration’s decision to detain and prosecute immigrants illegally crossing the border.
Lost in the debate is any acknowledgement that President Obama’s administration also used detention facilities.
Current U.S. immigration laws, when enforced, have the consequence of temporarily separating families that arrive with children into separate detention facilities in order to prosecute the adults. The policy of prosecuting immigrants for crossing the border illegally has been in place for multiple administrations. The Obama administration prosecuted half a million illegal immigrantsand similarly separated families in the process. So did the Bush administration. Personal accountsfrom immigration lawyers tell a tale of Obama being equally concerned about unaccompanied minors traveling to the border and wanting to create a deterrent.
Photos of border detention facilities from the Obama-era, taken during 2014, look nearly identical to the ones taken during the Trump era.
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