They are images of misery, of bureaucratic neglect, of the fate of children who through no fault of their own were brought across the American border by a parent.
They are images that conservative crusader Ben Shapiro reminded America Monday are the legacy of the Obama administration.
“The media is suggesting President Trump is cruelly tearing children out of the arms of their illegal immigrant parents,” Shapiro said Monday, noting that the “media have decided to jump with both feet on the bandwagon.”
But as shown on a video of “The Ben Shapiro Show” broadcast on YouTube, Shapiro noted that since 1997, it has been federal policy to separate children from illegal immigrant parents.
Accommodations for detained children “may be awful, but they were just as awful under President Obama,” Shapiro said as he highlighted scenes of despair and neglect that were first shared in 2014 by Breitbart.
Shapiro further lit into the media in a column published on The Daily Wire.
“The media coverage of this issue has been patently irresponsible. Trump isn’t forcing children away from parents. He’s enforcing the law on the books. The legislature can fix that law at any time. The facilities he’s using are the same facilities Obama used,” he wrote.
Shapiro castigated those who have spread lies about the issue.
“Pretending that this is Japanese internment (as Laura Bush suggested) or the Holocaust (as Gen. Michael Hayden suggested) is ridiculous. This policy ought to be fixed. But lying about it isn’t designed to fix it. It’s designed to prevent a fix by allowing Democrats to play political football with children, believing they’re winning a victory by holding Trump’s feet to the fire with pictures of crying children,” he wrote.
Shapiro then traced the legal precedents that have shaped federal policy about detaining children, noting that the courts gave federal officials a choice.
“The government either had to release whole families, or that the government had to separate parents from children,” he wrote.
Illegal immigrants also have a choice, he said.
“Immigrants who come to points of entry to seek asylum aren’t actually illegally in the country. They’re not arrested. They’re processed through ICE, and their children stay with them,” he said.
” If, however, illegal immigrants cross the border illegally, the Trump administration now treats them as criminals. If they choose deportation, they aren’t separated from their kids. If they choose to apply for asylum, they stay in the country longer than 20 days, and their kids have to be removed by operation of law,” he noted.
As to the facilities themselves, a CNN reporter recently toured the Casa Padre shelter in Brownsville, Texas, and gave it a mixed review.
“The massive shelter retains a warehouse vibe — noisy but highly organized, with scores of staffers leading skeins of boys to various activities,” the CNN report said.
“In recreation rooms, some boys watched a soccer match on TV, some took part in a tai chi class, others played pool or foosball (in one case with a cue ball). Still others sat in classrooms. Because of the crowding, the boys attend school in six-hour morning or afternoon shifts, five days a week. The bedrooms reporters were shown seemed antiseptically clean,” CNN reported.
It did criticize the shelter, noting that in rooms made to hold four beds, a fifth had been added.
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