Stephen Miller caged children. And he thinks Biden's immigration policies are cruel?

Stephen Miller caged children. And he thinks Biden’s immigration policies are cruel?

Originally Published in USA Today

Elvia Díaz - February 28, 2021

Stephen Miller burst into the national scene to declare the Biden administration’s immigration policies are cruel and inhumane.

Can you believe it?

The guy who masterminded ripping babies from their mothers, caging children and denying detained immigrants even a toothbrush is now accusing Biden of cruelty and inhumane treatment.

“What we’re seeing here is the cruelty and inhumanity of Joe Biden’s immigration policies,’’ the former Trump aide told Fox News.

But just wait to hear what Miller really means.

No. He wasn’t talking about treating unaccompanied children showing up at the U.S.-Mexico border humanely while authorities determine what to do with them.

“He (Biden) came into office and announced that there is open door and that young people who come to this country illegally are going to be resettled instead of returned,” Miller said.

Stephen Miller's hypocrisy helps Biden

That’s it. Miller lashed out at Biden not out of concern for foreign children fleeing persecution or starvation or both. He’s angry that the U.S. isn’t automatically shutting the door at them and return them to an uncertain fate that often has meant rape and death.

Leave it to Fox News to give Miller a megaphone to keep spewing his white supremacist venom. In doing so, Trump’s once-favorite network is throwing red meat to its conservative base but is also doing Biden a huge favor.

Miller’s hypocrisy dwarfs the criticism of Biden’s recent move to open a sprawling 66-acre Trump-era facility in Carrizo Springs, Texas, to temporarily house up to 700 unaccompanied children ages 13-17.

That immediately caught the ire of the likes of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who tweeted: “This is not okay, never has been okay, never will be okay — no matter the administration or party.”

Of course, it’s never OK to cage children, force them to sleep on floors covered with aluminum-foil blankets and deny them basic sanitation as Trump did. It’s never OK to rip babies from their mothers, deport the parent and lose contact with them.

Biden isn’t doing any of that.

How else could Biden handle minors?

In fact, his administration is trying to find the parents to reunite them with their children. This week, lawyers in a court filing said they’re still looking for 506 parents, down from 611 a month ago.

Again, another reminder of Biden undoing the terrible things that Miller and his former boss did.

Where Biden erred was to open a facility that symbolizes Trump’s camps, though it’s unclear what else the White House could have done now to start accepting and processing migrant children in the midst of the deadly health pandemic.

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In a Monday news release, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced the reopening of the facility.

The agency responsible for the temporary care of the unaccompanied children describes the facility as a self-sufficient site equipped with medical and fire services, a dining tent, a soccer field, a basketball court and all sorts of staff, including translators that are available 24/7.

Immediate problem demands quick solution

Media reports have sarcastically highlighted the “Bienvenidos” or welcome banner on the roof of the legal services trailer, saying it doesn’t matter whether the facility is run differently than under Trump’s order.

It’s still a camp where children can’t leave, the critics say.

I get that. And I hate to see it has come to this. But what’s the practical solution now?

The White House has a real challenge with an increasing number of unaccompanied children that he pledged to treat humanely, process them amid a health pandemic and find their sponsors in the U.S.

Life and death: Biden's pro-immigration agenda is more expansive than Obama's, but it has drawbacks

Ocasio-Cortez, the liberal New York congresswoman, suggests “bold reimagining” of the immigration system.

“DHS shouldn’t exist, agencies should be reorganized, ICE gotta go, ban for-profit detention, create climate refugee status & more,” she said in a tweet.

Yes. The U.S. approach to immigration must change, and getting rid of ICE, the infamous Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, tops the list.

But that doesn’t help deal with the immediate problem of processing the children showing up the southern border now.

Neither Ocasio-Cortez nor any other critics have offered practical and immediate solutions to help Biden navigate this treacherous road. If anyone does have practical ideas, speak up now.

Elvia Díaz is an editorial columnist for The Republic and azcentral, where this column originally appeared.

 

 

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