Obama Criticizes Trump for Family Separation, but Ignores Own Record of Separating Families

U.S. President Barack Obama answers questions during a news conference in the Brady Press Breifing Room at the White House December 16, 2016 in Washington, DC. In what could be the last press conference of his presidency, afterwards Obama will be leaving for his annual family vacation in Hawaii. (Photo …
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Former President Barack Obama criticized President Donald Trump’s enforcement of the border laws but failed to acknowledge that his own administration also prosecuted families at the border.

“To watch those families broken apart in real time puts to us a very simple question: are we a nation that accepts the cruelty of ripping children from their parents’ arms, or are we a nation that values families, and works to keep them together?” Obama said in a post on Facebook. “Do we look away, or do we choose to see something of ourselves and our children?”

The former president commented on the issue on Wednesday evening, recognizing World Refugee Day.

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said that the Obama administration also separated families as well as previous administrations.

“The Obama administration, the Bush administration all separated families,” Nielsen told reporters during the White House press briefing on Monday. “They absolutely did. Their rate was less than ours, but they absolutely did do this. This is not new.”

Obama commented on the issue after the White House signaled Trump’s decision to issue an executive order to keep detained families of illegal immigrants together.



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