Thomas Homan, former President Barack Obama’s own executive associate director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, had a strong message for critics of border detention facilities Wednesday: don’t blame Trump for something Obama did.
Homan, who headed up ICE for nearly four years, explained during a conference on immigration this week that it was Obama, not Trump, who actually built many of the “cages” currently used to temporarily house illegal alien families and children – facilities that many congressional Democrats and left-wing media pundits have used to slam the Trump administration for supposedly abusing and even “torturing” children for political gain.
“'You still keeping kids in cages?'” Homan said one Democratic official recently asked him. “I would answer the question, ‘The kids are being house in the same facility built under the Obama administration.’ If you want to call them cages, call them cages. But if the left wants to call them cages and the Democrats want to call them cages then they have to accept the fact that they were built and funded in FY 2015.”
“I’ve been to that facility, where they talk about cages,” Homan added. “That facility was built under President Obama under [former DHS] Secretary Jeh Johnson. I was there because I was there when it was built.”
Homan went on to explain that the “cages” – essentially large, chain-link enclosures within detention facilities used to temporarily hold illegal aliens caught crossing the border illegally – were never intended to hold kids, but are now necessary to accommodate the unexpected and unprecedented influx of unaccompanied children and families that’s escalated over the past few years.
Many times, he added, children are kept in their own locked areas to keep them away from unrelated adults who might abuse them.
“It’s chain link dividers that keeps children separate from unrelated adults. It’s about protecting children,” Homan said.
The only other government arm allowed to legally hold migrant children is the Department of Health and Human Services, which Congress has so far refused to fully fund, Homan explained.
While Trump’s handling of overwhelming numbers of illegal aliens has caught more than its fair share of flak from the left in recent weeks, that same concern was notably absent during the Obama administration, when conditions inside border detention facilities were just as bad. But from circulating edited Obama-era photos from 2015 to accuse the Trump administration of abusing migrants to slamming the Trump for using the same 160-year-old Army base that Obama used to house unaccompanied children in 2014, it seems the left is hell-bent on willfully ignoring Obama’s role in the current border crisis.