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News reports in March said a tent complex in Texas, a temporary U.S. border facility holding minors who cross the Mexico border, was at 700% or more of its capacity. Children sleep in see-through plastic pods.
The minors arrived unaccompanied and are being housed because of the Biden administration’s policy not to return them to Mexico.
The Trump administration was criticized for “kids in cages” — using chain-link enclosures to temporarily house children — because of its practice, from April to June of 2018, of separating children from their parents at the border.
After the Trump administration in 2018 began separating children from their parents at the Mexico border and housing the children temporarily in chain-link enclosures, Democrats used "kids in cages," a term the Trump administration rejected, to attack Trump.
Now, amid record-breaking numbers of child migrants crossing the border, critics of President Joe Biden are crying foul.
Stated one post circulating on Facebook:
"Don’t hear y’all complaining about kids in cages now they’re at 700% capacity. Funny. Almost like you don’t care when it’s Biden."
News organizations including CNN and CBS reported in March that a temporary border processing facility holding migrant children in Donna, Texas, was at 700% or more of capacity. It’s a tent complex, essentially a building with soft walls, where children sleep in see-through plastic pods.
At the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, the Trump administration implemented a policy that immediately expelled all people crossing the border, including children who arrived alone.
The Biden administration stopped that practice for children in January, allowing children who cross the border alone to remain in the U.S. while they await immigration court proceedings.
Experts say that a pull factor created by Biden’s policy change is one of several factors driving the uptick in unaccompanied minors. Another is a federal judge’s order in November that stopped the Trump administration’s practice of returning accompanied children.
A widely shared Facebook post claimed: "Kids in cages" in border facilities are "at 700% capacity."
The term "cage" is a subjective one that Democrats used to attack the Trump administration’s policy of separating children from their parents and temporarily housing them in facilities with chain-link enclosures.
A Texas tent complex that houses migrant children temporarily has been at more than 700% capacity, as record numbers of children cross the Mexico border. But the Biden administration’s policy is to house unaccompanied minors while they await immigration proceedings and not to return them to Mexico.
The statement is partially accurate but leaves out important details or takes things out of context. We rate it Half True.
Facebook post, April 10, 2021
Associated Press, "Claim of ‘kids in cages’ hypocrisy is missing context," Feb. 26, 2021
Washington Post, "No, Biden’s new border move isn’t like Trump’s ‘kids in cages,’" Feb. 23, 2021
Daily Mail, "Inside new Texas migrant facility already 700% over-capacity after only three weeks - and where 'children are going hungry and sleeping on the floor': Biden prepares to house 3,000 teens at Dallas convention center 500 miles away," March 16, 2021
PolitiFact, "No, Biden is not separating families entering the country," Feb. 25, 2021
PolitiFact, "Fact-checking Biden on use of cages for immigrants during Obama administration," Sept. 13, 2019
PolitiFact, "More children held at the border under Biden than Trump, but not 4 times as many," April 9, 2021
PolitiFact, "Border surge of minors is due to numerous factors, Biden policies among them," March 29, 2021
U.S. Customs and Border Protection, news release and photos, Feb. 9, 2021
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