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‘This is not okay’: AOC slams Biden for reopening Trump-era migrant children holding facility, calls for elimination of DHS and ICE

The Washington Post revealed Monday that the Biden administration officially reopened a Texas housing facility for migrant children along the U.S.-Mexico border capable of holding hundreds of children. The location was opened by the Trump administration for just a month in 2019 — a move that was a source of repeated criticism from the left and immigration activists.

News of the facility’s reopening led to a massive hue and cry on the left, which accused Biden of betraying his base by repeating the horrors of former President Donald Trump.

Not one to be overshadowed by fellow outraged leftists, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez got into the action Tuesday evening and offered her critique of President Joe Biden’s decision to follow in Trump’s throw-kids-in-cages footsteps.

“This is not okay, never has been okay, never will be okay — no matter the administration or party,” the democratic socialist New York lawmaker declared.

She went on to blast U.S. immigration policy, which currently does not offer illegal aliens the opportunity to simply waltz over a border or overstay a visa and automatically grant the immigration violator American citizenship.

“Our immigration system is built on a carceral framework,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted. “It’s no accident that challenging how we approach both these issues are considered ‘controversial’ stances.”

“They require reimagining our relationship to each other and challenging common assumptions we take for granted,” she continued.

“It’s only 2 [months] into this admin & our fraught, unjust immigration system will not transform in that time,” she added. “That’s why bold reimagination is so [important].”

What is the “bold reimagination” she envisions?

Get rid of the Department of Homeland Security. Scuttle the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Create a new status of refugee for climate change. And more.

“DHS shouldn’t exist, agencies should be reorganized, ICE gotta go, ban for-profit detention, create climate refugee status & more,” Ocasio-Cortez wrote.

Old hat for AOC

Of course, this isn’t the first time Ocasio-Cortez has ranted about ICE and DHS and called for doing away with our immigration enforcement system. For example:

  • In June 2018, then-candidate AOC campaigned on abolishing ICE, alleging that “black sites” were facilitating the “separation of children” and calling the actions “human rights abuses.”
  • In June 2019, she declared that ICE detention centers are “concentration camps.”
  • Later that month, she doubled down on the comparison and demanded that “not one dime” go to DHS to “fund the caging of kids & families. Pretty simple.”
  • In August 2019, AOC attacked the CEO of a private prison operator that manages the operation of migrant detention centers on behalf of ICE. She offered to go “toe to toe” with the CEO over his “immoral” business, which she called “the caging of humans for profit.”
  • In January 2020, she repeated her calls to break up ICE, as well as U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and instructed an audience on how to obstruct ICE.
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Reporter confronts Jen Psaki on Biden admin reopening ‘cages’ shut down under Trump

White House press secretary Jen Psaki on Tuesday was confronted by a reporter on the Biden administration’s apparent hypocrisy for reopening a temporary facility for migrant children in Texas closed by the previous administration.

President Joe Biden’s administration reopened the temporary Influx Care Facility in Carrizo Springs, Texas, to care for children, mostly teenagers age 13-17, who arrive at the border unaccompanied by a parent. The facility is capable of holding roughly 700 children with coronavirus safety measures implemented.

The site has been inactive since July 2019, when it was closed by President Donald Trump’s administration after fierce criticism by Democrats that this facility and others like it treated migrant children inhumanely.

During Tuesday’s press briefing, Fox News reporter Peter Doocy asked Psaki why the Biden administration was reopening the facility.

Psaki said the policy of the Biden administration is “not to expel unaccompanied children who arrive at the border.” She said Customs and Border Patrol transfers migrant children to the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Refugee Resettlement. She explained that COVID-19 protocols have reduced the capacity at existing facilities to hold migrant children, so this facility was reopened to accommodate the overflow.

“To ensure the health and safety of these kids, HHS took steps to open an emergency facility to add capacity where these children can be provided with the care they need before they are safely placed with families and sponsors,” Psaki said.

According to the Associated Press, HHS operates several long-term facilities to process unaccompanied minor aliens apprehended by Border Patrol. Almost all of the nearly 7,100 beds at these facilities are reportedly full, requiring the administration to reopen temporary housing for these migrants.

Following up, Doocy reminded Psaki that in summer 2019, when the prior administration operated this facility, then-candidate Biden accused President Trump of keeping kids in cages and Kamala Harris said the Trump administration was keeping “babies in cages” and committing a “human rights abuse.”

“How is this any different?” Doocy asked.

“We very much feel that way,” Psaki replied, speaking of the accusations thrown at the Trump administration. “Let me be clear here, one, there’s a pandemic going on. I’m sure you’re not suggesting that we have children right next to each other in ways that are not COVID safe, are you?” she fired back at Doocy.

“I’m suggesting that Kamala Harris said that putting people in this facility was ‘a human rights abuse committed by the United States government’ and Joe Biden said, ‘Under Trump there have been horrifying scenes at the border of kids being kept in cages.’ Now it’s not under Trump, it’s under Biden,” Doocy fired back.

“This is not kids being kept in cages,” Psaki asserted. “This is a facility that was opened that’s going to follow the same standards as other HHS facilities. It is not a replication, certainly not, that was never our intention of replicating the immigration policies of the past administration. But we are in a circumstance where we are not going to expel unaccompanied minors at the border. That would be inhumane. That is not what we are going to do here as an administration.”

Continuing, she said that once the migrant children receive medical care they will be transferred to their families or sponsors.

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Biden administration reopens Trump-era migrant children housing facility

Despite excoriating former President Donald Trump on the campaign trail over immigration policies affecting children separated from their families at the border, President Joe Biden appears to be adopting the same approach to the issue as his predecessor.

According to the Washington Post, the Biden administration has officially reopened a housing facility for migrant children along the U.S.-Mexico border in Carrizo Springs, Texas, capable of holding hundreds of children.

“Dozens of migrant teens boarded vans Monday for the trip down a dusty road to a former man camp for oil field workers here, the first migrant child facility opened under the Biden administration,” the Post reported on Monday. “The emergency facility — a vestige of the Trump administration that was open for only a month in summer 2019 — is being reactivated to hold up to 700 children ages 13 to 17.”

The move has been in the works since earlier this month, CNN reported, characterized by an administration spokesperson to the outlet as a necessary evil as immigration officials grapple with an overflow of illegal crossings taking place at the country’s southern border.

“Fully remedying [Trump’s] actions will take time and require a full government approach,” a senior administration official said, urging patience.

Government officials similarly told the Post that the camp is needed to temporarily house children amid the coronavirus pandemic and the current surge of border crossings. Never mind the fact that Biden’s lax immigration policies instigated the border surge in the first place.

In both cases, Biden administration officials are attempting to put a nice spin on the move. But what’s happening in this case is obvious, at least to CNN reporter Priscilla Alvarez, who acknowledged, “While administration officials have condemned Trump’s actions, they’re still relying on them as they sort out next steps.”

Despite the administration’s best efforts to cast the move in a positive light, progressive immigration lawyers and advocates are also calling it out for what it is.

“It’s unnecessary, it’s costly, and it goes absolutely against everything Biden promised he was going to do,” Linda Brandmiller, a San Antonio-based immigration lawyer who represents unaccompanied minors, told the Post. “It’s a step backward, is what it is. It’s a huge step backward.”

“When I read they were opening again, I cried,” said Rosey Abuabara, a San Antonio immigration activist. “I consoled myself with the fact that it was considered the Cadillac of [migrant child] centers, but I don’t have any hope that Biden is going to make it better.”

Mark Weber, a spokesman for the Department of Health and Human Services, the agency that handles migrant children, also made clear that the good care given to the children at such facilities has been consistent between administrations, though the Trump administration got a particularly bad rap from left-wing media.

That fact is especially pertinent given the Post’s coverage of the new development under Biden. In its report this week, the facility is described in delicate terms, a far cry from the “kids in cages” language used by the Post during Trump’s presidency, as noted by Fox News.

“Headlines from 2018 include, ‘The American tradition of caging children,’ and ‘The real reason we’re locking children in cages,'” Fox News recalled.

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‘Frozen’ singer claims she cried after young son said a Biden presidency would mean ‘No more kids in cages’

During President Donald Trump’s first term, progressive journalists and celebrities have made a habit of going on Twitter and telling stories about their young children making woke remarks that racks up thousands of likes and retweets. The latest person to share a story about their child regurgitating left-wing talking points is “Frozen” singer Idina Menzel.

After several media outlets declared Joe Biden to be the winner of the 2020 presidential election on Saturday, Menzel took to Twitter to brag about how her son allegedly reacted to the news.

“What a relief. My son just hugged me and said ‘mommy no more kids in cages!’ Tears of joy and tears of sadness,” Menzel claimed her son said.

The tweet received over 31,000 likes, many from fans of Menzel’s voice-over work for the character Queen Elsa in the 2013 Disney animated movie “Frozen.”

However, there were tens of thousands of responses, many of which pointed out that the cages were not built by Trump. Twitter users were quick to fact-check Menzel and inform the singer that the facility near the U.S. border with Mexico was built during the Obama administration, which included former Vice President Biden.

Many online commenters shared a photo of Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson, who visited the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Nogales Placement Center on June 25, 2014.

There were also Twitter users who completely doubted the legitimacy of Menzel’s story.

Thomas Homan, executive associate director of ICE during the Obama administration, explained the situation with kids with cages, and how Trump was being unfairly targeted.

“I’ve been to that facility, where they talk about cages,” Homan said. “That facility was built under President Obama under [former Homeland Security] Secretary Jeh Johnson. I was there because I was there when it was built.”

“If you want to call them cages, call them cages,” he added. “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 [fiscal year] 2015,” which is when Barack Obama was president.

In last month’s presidential debate, Trump pressed Joe Biden about the kids in cages.

“Who built the cages, Joe?” Trump asked Biden multiple times. Biden refused to answer the question.