Fact Check: Has the Trump Administration Toughened Up Border Detention?

It’s fair to say there are plenty of things about the Trump administration guaranteed to trigger Democrat tantrums. Unfortunately for them, the facts are against them more often than not.

Is the economy collapsing because Trump is talking tough to foreign competitors on tariffs? Well, no; it’s booming.

Has the president’s brash style caused foreign policy disasters? In fact, it’s getting results — North Korea has come to heel, for example.

Luckily there’s one thing everyone can agree on, though; President Trump has imposed a brutal detention policy at our border with Mexico. Or did somebody else do that?


  • The race for the Democratic Party nomination has given all the candidates plenty of chances to talk about President Trump’s brutality to illegal immigrants. Family separation and the holding of detainees in “cages” are standard talking points, and the Dem wannabes have been all over them.
  • Kamala Harris says Trump has “pushed policies that have been about putting babies in cages at the border.” Pete Buttigieg claimed the GOP has lost all right to use religious language because it’s not “…OK to suggest that God would smile on the division of families at the hands of federal agents, that God would condone putting children in cages.” Joe Biden has also said some highly questionable things.
  • The only problem with their arguments is that the border detention areas — including the so-called “cages” — weren’t set up by the Trump administration. All the senior Democrats know that, of course. They’re just ignoring an inconvenient truth because they don’t want to remind voters of who really set them up.
  • For example, the holding center at McAllen, TX, features “cages” that were designed as temporary holding areas while detainees are processed. Trump’s idea? Well, no. The McAllen center was built in 2014. Now, who was president in 2014?
  • But surely Trump was the one who began separating migrant families? Joe Biden certainly seemed to claim that when he talked about how “Under Trump, there have been horrifying scenes at the border of kids being kept in cages, tear-gassing asylum seekers, ripping children from their mothers’ arms.”
  • Actually though, it’s worth noting that Biden didn’t say this only happens under Trump — because that’s not true. In fact, the last administration deported a record 3 million illegals from the US and separated hundreds of thousands of families by deporting some members and letting others remain. Who was vice-president in the last administration? Well, that would be Joe Biden.
  • It’s true that the Trump administration is using tough (but necessary) measures to control the flow of migrants over our borders. The thing is, these measures aren’t something he thought up himself. All of them are policies inherited from the Obama administration. Just don’t expect to hear any Democrat candidates own up to that anytime soon.

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