Selective Outrage from Democrats Ignores Reality of Obama-Era Migrant Detentions

2019 vs 2014 Migrant Detention
Images: Joaquin Castro (L) -- U.S. Customs and Border Protection (R)

The current selective outrage from Democrats today stands in sharp contrast to the deplorable conditions migrants faced in detention facilities during the Obama administration in 2014. The commentary from certain Democrats appears to be more politically motivated than directed at improving conditions for migrants in detention.

In June 2014, Breitbart News Director of Border and Cartel Chronicles Projects Brandon Darby shocked the world with the publication of leaked photos showing the deplorable conditions faced by unaccompanied migrant children and family units. Democrat responses at that time appeared to be more angered that migrants were being detained at all than by the horrible conditions forced upon the migrants by Obama administration policies.

Dozens of photographs published by Breitbart News at that time show migrants packed into small holding cells, often shoulder-to-shoulder. Many of the photos show filthy conditions and some reveal portable toilet units. Other’s show people sleeping on the floor in cold conditions without blankets.

Contrast these with the single photo tweeted by U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-TX) this week that shows clean conditions and women with blankets. It is worth noting that Castro’s brother, Julián Castro, is a candidate for the Democratic Party’s nomination for president — seeking to pair off against President Donald Trump in November 2020. Julián Castro has been conspicuously silent on the recent discussion of migrant detention facilities.

When Rep. Castro visited an Obama-era facility in 2015, his concern seemed more focused on ending the detention of migrants altogether rather than improving conditions for the detained illegal border crossers. A report from the San Antonio Current at the time said Castro called it a “very emotional visit.” He reportedly said the migrants should qualify for asylum.

Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) took it a step further. “What I saw today did nothing but confirm my belief walking through the door that we should end the jailing of women and children in these proceedings. It is by its nature punitive, whether it is intended to be or not,” she said.

More than 130 Democrats in Congress signed a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson asking him to end the use of family detention facilities, the report stated.

“They are in a locked facility that feels quite a bit like a jail. I would say it is a jail camp,” Lofgren said after touring another facility in Central Texas.

On Monday, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC), accused Border Patrol agents of forcing migrants to drink from toilets. “Officers were keeping women in cells w/ no water & had told them to drink out of the toilets,” she tweeted.

National Border Patrol Council President and Border Patrol Agent Brandon Judd expressed his anger at the accusations leveled by AOC at the agents his union represents. His interview aired on Breitbart News Tonight.

“Nobody is forced to drink out of a toilet and nobody is told to drink out of a toilet,” Judd explained. “Its completely and totally a baseless and ridiculous allegation and frankly it needs to be investigated and she needs to be exposed.”

Responding to a statement from the freshman representative that she would rather be morally correct than factually accurate, Judd told Breitbart News, “How can you have the moral high ground if you are going to throw facts out the window and spew falsehoods? And that’s what she is doing.”

Judd explained further, “She gives absolutely no contexts to these allegations that she is making and by not giving context she is trying to paint a false narrative and a false picture and she needs to be held accountable for that.”

Since Breitbart’s release of the leaked photos in 2014, Congress, under either party’s leadership, as done little to nothing in terms of reducing the numbers of migrant families and unaccompanied minors crossing the border illegally. In fact, the issue has gotten much worse.

In 2014, Border Patrol agents working the nine sectors of the southwest border with Mexico apprehended 68,445 family units and 68, 541 unaccompanied minors, according to information obtained from the FY2014 Southwest Border Migration Report. A total of  136,986 migrant families and children.

During the first eight months of FY 2019, those numbers more than doubled. The most recent report from CBP shows that Border Patrol agents apprehended 332,981 migrants families and 56,278 unaccompanied minors — 389,259 total families and children (a 184 percent increase).

Despite these massive increases in the numbers of children and family units crossing the border, the most recent spending legislation approved by Congress last week provides “NO funding for ICE Detention Beds,” Breitbart News reported.

AOC went even further — criticizing Mayfair for making beds for migrants families to sleep on.

At the end of a lengthy discussion on Twitter, Darby concluded, “It’s absolutely right and noble to be upset about the humanitarian crisis on our border, my point is that some seem to only be upset now that it’s politically expedient to be upset. That’s all.”

Bob Price serves as associate editor and senior political news contributor for Breitbart Texas. He is a founding member of the Breitbart Texas team. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX.

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