Debates 2020

Trump and Biden Are Right: Both Parties Are To Blame for America's Inhumane, Broken Immigration System

Trump's immigration record is uniquely appalling but he didn't do it all by himself. Before you start building cages, you should ask how your political opponents might use them.


One administration built the cages. Another administration filled them. Who is actually to blame?

That question occupied President Donald Trump and former vice president Joe Biden for a good portion of the time allotted to a discussion of immigration during Thursday's debate, the last of the 2020 campaign season. Trump blamed the Obama administration for "building cages to keep children in" and (technically correctly) argued that he had been falsely maligned for inventing inhumane immigration enforcement practices that he inherited from his predecessor. Biden, meanwhile, blamed Trump for ramping up the cruelty by separating families who crossed the border without authorization—a policy that has somewhat predictably resulted in the federal immigration bureaucracy losing track of the families of more than 500 migrant children.

Here's the thing: They're both right.

The Trump administration's family separation policy is a nightmare. More than 2,800 children have been taken away from their families since the Trump administration's new "zero tolerance" policy was implemented, according to the American Civil Liberties Union. Trump officials believed the policy would deter more families from trying to cross the border unlawfully. And that new policy was implemented by the order of Trump's first attorney general, Jeff Sessions, over the complaints and warnings of top immigration lawyers in the Justice Department. It is entirely fair to lay this whole mess at Trump's feet.

But those excesses were made possible because the Obama administration oversaw a huge escalation in federal immigration enforcement and deportations. Trump talks a tougher game on immigration, but Obama still holds the inglorious record for the most deportations in a single year. And, yes, Trump is correct that the detention facilities his administration has filled to the brim were built during the Obama administration, which also caged immigrant kids—albeit under less common circumstances than the Trump administration has done.

The Trump administration's approach to immigration enforcement has been aggressive and deliberately punitive in a way that Obama's was not. Beyond the appalling family separation policy, Trump's sought to restrict both legal and illegal immigration in ways that no president in recent history has. He's shifted one of America's two major parties in a nationalist, xenophobic direction—or perhaps he owes his success to the fact that it had already shifted that direction, but that's no better—and elevated people like Stephen Miller to places where they can set policy. That's all horrifically bad.

But he was only able to do most of that because previous presidential administrations—not just Obama and Biden, but plenty of others before it—built a powerful leviathan dedicated to preventing the free movement of people.

During Thursday night's debate, Biden promised that he'd send Congress a major immigration reform that would include a "pathway to citizenship" for undocumented immigrants within 100 days of taking office. But it's fair to ask, as Trump did several times, why that wasn't done already.

"He had eight years and he did nothing except build cages to keep children in," Trump said.

If Biden gets another shot at one of the top spots in the executive branch, maybe he'll take a lesson from all this. Before you start building cages, you should ask yourself how your political opponents might use them.

NEXT: Joe Biden's Proposal To Double the Minimum Wage to $15 an Hour Won't Help Small Businesses

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  1. 1 million immigrants a year (actually more) is inhumane… lol. Go with that.

    1. More Boehm bullshit.

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      2. Trump’s immigration record is uniquely appalling

        For doing the same things that Obama, the deportee in Chief, did. Peak family separations were in 2012.

        1. There was never policy of punitively kidnapping children from their parents before Trump. That’s what’s new and especially cruel.

          1. Incorrect. DCFS was kidnapping far more children domestically since at least the Clinton administration and continues to do so. Biden’s crime bill only escalated the issue. You just don’t care any more than Biden does because they’re mostly “poor kids”.

            1. Why mince words, Shreek doesn’t count them because they’re brown and he hates browns.

          2. Obama would send illegal immigrants children to sponsors that used them as forced labor. So let’s discuss obamas policy.

        2. Yup. An Obama high for removals at 432,281 in 2013. 2012-2014 had 400,000+ removals each year.

          How border apprehensions, ICE arrests and deportations have changed under Trump

          1. And it was one of the few things Obama did right. Deport as many of those illegals as possible.

    2. Boehm doesnt give two shits about Americans who have to pay for these poor illegals until they get established in the USA.

      Its literally why we have rules to makes sure immigrants can provide for themselves and not be on the government teat immediately after arriving in the USA.

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  2. Why did Obama build empty cages? Were they humanely trapping nuisance coyotes to relocate in the wild? I don’t think he could have imagined Trump would ever fill those coyote cages with CHILDREN!

    1. “Why did Obama build empty cages?”

      Why are you lying?

      1. I’ve seen only three comments from this guy and I’m 90% sure he’s pulling an OBL.

        1. First I’ve seen, so it could be troll.

          1. Ironic. If trolling the same website for over ten years doesn’t make you a total loser than nothing will. Another useless and pathetic comment from Sevo, as always.

            1. Kiddie Raper, is that you? Or are you another Pedo Jeffy sock? Or one of the other progtard losers that comment here?

  3. Erm, Obama also used those cages. The photos of kids in them are from Obama’s term

    And it’s not like anyone does it deliberately, it’s just they have no idea if the children are the children of the people who they are with. Since there is no documentation.

    But the root of the problem is people coming here illegally. They should stay home and try to immigrate legally. Or stay and try to make their home country a better place.

    1. No… A court ordered children not be detained with adults. Under Obama.

      So Obama built cages and put the kids there. And dishonest journalists published pictures from the Obama administration and claimed it was Trump putting kids in cages.

      It is a lie.

      Trump amped up the rhetoric. The plan was in direct opposition to Obama’s plan to encourage as much illegal immigration as possible.

      1. Trump’s more forceful rhetoric reduced the number of illegals and separated families. Trump’s policy/rhetoric is the more humane.

  4. I’m not saying democrats are retarded… but…

    Dar’shun Kendrick
    Did @realDonaldTrump just say 545 kids they can’t find their parents for came over through “cartels and coyotes”?! How the hell does a coyote bring a whole human across the border?! Lord—–stop talking. #FinalDebate

    She is a Georgia Democrat house member.

      1. Winner winner.

    1. Smarter than my rep when I lived there. I had Cythia Mckinney. She made AOC look like William F Buckley.

      1. Patty Murray is a senator in my state. She once praised Osama Bin Ladin for building roads and daycares, as Al Queda was working hard to improve infrastructure and watch kids so Islamic women could enter the workforce

        1. She is proof that PE coaches are scholars.

    2. The democratic PhD are coming put of the word works with their depth of knowledge on immigration.

      David Hogg
      Imagine calling the immigrant parents that bring their children to the United States for a better life “Coyotes”

      The level of xenophobia is sickening.

      1. Hogg’s just angry the kids weren’t dead yet before he climbed on top of them to demand attention. What a loathsome, weaselly little shit. No wonder Harvard admitted him.

  5. LOL

    Did @realDonaldTrump just say 545 kids they can’t find their parents for came over through “cartels and coyotes”?! How the hell does a coyote bring a whole human across the border?! Lord—–stop talking. #FinalDebate

    1. “Coyote” refers to criminals who bring illegal migrants across the border for money.

    2. I really hope you are being sarcastic and are not really this stupid……. Coyote = human smuggler.

      1. Nope, I’m pretty sure that the person who wrote that really is that stupid.

        1. Leftists were “dunking” on stupid Trump supporters for talking about coyotes crossing the border.


            Tonight on blue checkmark twitter, they don’t know what coyotes are.

            (This isn’t even half of all I found ????)

    3. Just to clarify for the house member: a ‘cartel’ is a group, or a pack if you will, of ‘coyotes’. 🙂

    4. “How the hell does a coyote bring a whole human across the border?!”

      Ugh, prejudiced much? Not all Mexican criminals decapitate people and I’m sure only some of them bring the head with them when they cross the border

    5. Remember, his vote counts just as much as yours.

  6. Trump and Biden Are Right: Both Parties Are To Blame for America’s Inhumane, Broken Immigration System

    Indeed! A humane immigration system would strongly protect our borders against illegal crossings, deport illegals quickly, and aggressively go after employers, banks, and others who knowingly do business with illegals.

    1. The most interesting thing Biden said last night was he would eliminate mandatory minimum sentences and support treatment as the corrections response to all crimes that were solely drug-related. Not jail time. If those things actually happened there would be a whole new playing field to address the drug war and it would go a long way to making “immigration” a clearer issue.

      I think part of the problem – not the whole problem, but part of it – is that “immigration” has gotten equated to “Mexico.” Mexico and the US are neighboring countries with a border that’s been shaped by war and colonization. There are feelings about the other country on both sides, complicated interrelationships and a shared history that the US population didn’t pay much attention to outside of the borderlands, Southwest, Texas, California, parts of the US that had been Spanish colonies or part of Mexico at one point. It’s an aspect of history that has to be examined because part of the “immigration” sentiment is that many in the US are not satisfied with the relationship between the neighboring countries. Attempts to intervene in “the drug war” have often contributed to the corruption and cartel development. People blame the drug war for many problems in the US and then often blame Mexico for the drug war and that’s part of it but not the whole picture. We need to get to the whole picture. The US has played a significant part in the drug war with both domestic and international policy, but again we did not do it all by ourselves. There is plenty of blame to spread around, there have been plenty of people profiting off addiction and oppression caused by the drug war and that has to be addressed. Immigration isn’t identical to “Mexicans,” the border is not identical to “immigration,” and having border laws at all is not the evil nightmare xenophobia. Cartel and coyotes actually exist, so do boring, innocent people trying to make a better life and people fleeing violence. The asylum system has been abused but that doesn’t mean there should be no asylum. It isn’t one or the other.
      I want to blame international troll propaganda farms for influencing the left to forget all those things and focus only on the suffering individual immigrant. It may be public education combined with the troll farms. I am sympathetic to individuals but I am also sympathetic to the need for a functioning system and strong incentives exist for there to be no functioning system.

  7. Actually four parties are to blame for the inhumanity, PRI, MORENA, PAN, and the PRD. That’s just in Mexico. I assume the Banana Republicans are responsible in all the other countries down there.

  8. The endless rationalization to blame anybody and everybody for the actions of illegal immigrants but the illegal immigrants is ridiculous. They have wrecked their own countries to the point they no longer want to live in them and are now in the process of wrecking this one, blaming anyone and everyone for their actions other than themselves, enabled by people like the author of this article. Guess what? If you are a citizen and you commit a crime you are going to get separated from your family and kids. Guess what else? If you are a kid who is a US citizen and you commit a crime you may well end up in a “cage”, we call it juvenile detention. So why should illegal border crossing criminals be treated any differently on either count?

  9. How your opponents might use them? Are you guys kidding me?

    A court ordered policy from the Obama administration that was weaponized by leftist activists and ended by Trump…. Is something being used in some way other than intended by Trump.


    That is some serious mental gymnastics.

    I love how ‘libertarian’ has become synonymous with “rhetoric is more important than actions”.

  10. Oh geez the tejans will rule and we will all have to eat enchiladas. That is so sad as long as there is no sour cream at Guadaja Harrys!

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    1. Even the spam bots don’t want illegals taking their jobs

  14. One administration built the cages. Another administration filled them. Who is actually to blame?

    Personally, I think we should blame the person who built the first enclosed space. If that monster hadn’t created that kind of structure then Trump would have had nowhere to hold the children he kidnapped.

    1. You are lying trash.

      Family separation is a lie, because a majority of juveniles coming across are not with family. Obama’s twisted and downright evil policy of encouraging ‘dreamers’ resulted in large numbers of parents sending the children across, to achieve the half assed second class amnesty that daca was promising. No one knows how many chinldren died in the desert….no one knows how many were trafficed.

      Separation and the border is the only humane thing to do, because it protected those children from the predators.

      So gfy you evil partisan lying piece of filth.

    2. Both filled them. One encouraged them to continue crossing over to fill them. Will let you guess which one.

  15. The Biden Administration will be hit hard picking up the mess left by the Trump administrations. The pandemic, healthcare, and the economy will all need attention. Hopefully immigration reform can get some attention also. Those supporting Joe Biden include a range from conservatives, libertarians, moderates and progresses. I hope they will give the new President enough room to get the mess cleared, including immigration reform, before the infighting restarts.

    1. Lol. Full parody. Good work.

  16. “He had eight years and he did nothing except build cages to keep children in,” Trump said.

    Again, Trump misses an opportunity to score legitimate points by just spewing hyperbole.

  17. Before you start building cages, you should ask yourself how your political opponents might use them.

    There’s two ways of looking at this – don’t put all your eggs in one basket or put all your eggs in one basket and then watch that basket. With their threats to get rid of the Electoral College, pack the courts, add Washington DC and Puerto Rico as states, proportionalize the Senate, and allow “don’t ask, don’t tell” voter fraud, it’s pretty clear the Democrats aren’t concerned with how their political opponents might use their own weapons against them, they’re putting all their eggs in the one basket of making sure their political opponents never get a chance to use that power.

  18. Before you start building cages, you should ask yourself how your political opponents might use them.

    This has always been the biggest shortsight of progressives. Same way they spent 8 years growing executive power under Obama with no thought to what the next republican president would do with that power

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  21. “Trump officials believed the policy would deter more families from trying to cross the border unlawfully.”

    Except that it’s NOT against the law for refugees to cross, or even sneak across, the border, as long as they eventually introduce themselves to the relevant authorities.

    You Conservatives conveniently keep pretending to forget that.

    And now you know why the Corporate Caliphate needs to replace you with illiterate Central Americans if America is to survive – Illiteracy can be fixed, but there is no cure for racist induced bat shit bug fuck insane.

  22. Democrats wanted more voters.
    Republicans wanted cheap labor for their supporters.
    Republicans thought Catholic religion and family values would win them support with illegal Hispanic immigrants.
    Democrats won with empty promises and a lot of free stuff.
    Republicans became anti-illegal immigration.
    Democrats remain pro-illegal immigration and are still trying to fulfill their empty promises.

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