By Jon Hall
On Tuesday, newly released data revealed that the number of migrant children held in U.S. Border Patrol facilities surpassed previous record highs and tripled over the past two weeks. More than 3,400 migrant children were apprehended at the border and taken into custody since the end of February. Comparing these numbers to when the 2019 border crisis was at its worst, there were only 2,600 migrant children in custody then – a drastic contrast.
According to CNN, President Biden has not even been briefed on the situation. Reporting on the serious rise in numbers, CNN also plays “softball” in regards to their tone. Of the 3,400 migrant kids, CNN detailed that 2,800 were awaiting placement in shelters with only 500 beds able to accommodate them. From these “startling figures”, CNN claims that it “demonstrates how deep the challenge is for the Biden White House”.
Again, a drastic contrast from how CNN reported this same thing happening under Trump. The headline from 2019 in big, bold letters: “We went to a border detention center for children. What we saw was awful”. Clara Long, a senior researcher at Human Rights Watch, and Nicole Austin-Hillery, executive director of Human Rights Watch, penned a scathing report of their visit to a Border Patrol facility in June of 2019. Of note, Long and Austin-Hillery pointed out:
Some of the children we spoke with were sleeping on concrete floors and eating the same unpalatable and unhealthy food for close to a month: instant oatmeal, instant soup and a previously-frozen burrito. Children should spend no more than a few hours in short-term border jails to be processed and US-law limits their detention under typical circumstances to 72 hours.
However, at the very end of CNN’s latest article on the increase in numbers, they off-handedly mention that “unaccompanied children have to be turned over within 72 hours to the Department of Health and Human Services”. With 3,400 migrant children apprehended in just two weeks and only 500 available beds in placement shelters, can anyone really believe that the Biden administration is turning over all of the children in custody within 72 hours?
Where’s the outrage?
There was an entire news cycle, weeks worth of coverage, over the state of the border with Trump as President. With the Biden administration, everyone seems perfectly content on shrugging their shoulders and deciding “oh, well”. No wall-to-wall news coverage, no unhinged blue checkmarks on Twitter demanding Biden resign, no furious op-eds published dismantling Biden and his obvious white supremacy as happened with Trump (despite the fact that the situation was also the same under Obama).
In the article from Long and Austin-Hillery, they specifically detail that some of the children they spoke to during their visit to the detention center when Trump was President “were sleeping on concrete floors”.
No, the above image isn’t ripped from their article, instead it was taken in 2014 when Obama was President – clearly showing children sleeping on concrete floors. It happened under Obama, it happened under Trump, and they are probably still using the same bedrolls under Biden. That isn’t to say the situation isn’t abhorrent. Truly, though, how much does one actually care when their outrage is so selective and particular to only one person?
No one, least of all CNN, is making claims that Biden is forcing children to sleep on concrete floors or eat “the same unpalatable and unhealthy food” every day or use “two office chairs drawn together” as a bed, which was posited as “probably the most comfortable bed” the child had used in weeks. The Biden administration is being given a free pass not only by the mainstream media – which is certainly to be expected – but also by his voters, who were so ardent on making Biden President so real and progressive change could come about.
— Biden Voters Posting Their L's Online (@BidenLs) March 10, 2021
— Biden Voters Posting Their L's Online (@BidenLs) March 9, 2021
— Biden Voters Posting Their L's Online (@BidenLs) March 7, 2021
Stealing an old Obama idiom, let’s be clear: Joe Biden hasn’t clowned anyone – everyone who voted for him did.