CNN “Inside Politics” host John King pushed back Tuesday against a Democratic narrative that lays the blame for the ongoing crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border at the feet of President Donald Trump.
“This particular issue is not new,” King said. “This is an interview going back to 2014 with the then-Democratic president of the United States. There are some Democrats who come to the table and say, ‘Trump created this crisis, this is all about Trump.’”
King argued that while the border crisis may have “escalated under Trump,” it precedes the president’s tenure by many years.
As evidence to support his assertion, CNN’s chief national correspondent played a clip showing President Barack Obama addressing the issue of migrant children at the border during a 2014 interview.
“The problem is that under current law, once those kids come across the border, there’s a system in which we’re supposed to process them, take care of them, until we can send them back,” Obama said, in remarks that presaged Trump’s own.
“Our message, absolutely, is don’t send your children unaccompanied on trains or through a bunch of smugglers, that is our direct message to the families in Central America,” Obama added. “Do not send your children to the border. If they do make it, they’ll get sent back.”
“This issue has been unresolved, different pieces of it, for 20-plus years,” King said after the Obama clip rolled.
The crisis at the border is Trump’s fault, according to liberals
Trump’s hardline stance on immigration has never played well with Democrats. But in recent weeks, his opponents have stepped up their rhetoric against his administration’s treatment of migrants, particularly with respect to children housed in border detention centers.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has been at the forefront of a campaign to cast the Trump administration as the villains in a historic struggle over human rights. The New York Democrat has insisted migrant detention facilities under Trump are “concentration camps” and has stopped just short of comparing his administration to the Third Reich.
But as King suggested, Trump’s immigration policy is arguably not so different from that his liberal predecessor’s. Indeed, as The Associated Press noted Saturday in a fact check, Obama operated and in some cases built the detention centers liberals are now bemoaning.
Last week, a viral photograph circulating on social media that purported to show the Trump administration “torturing” migrant children was revealed to have been taken during Obama’s presidency.
Meanwhile, Department of Homeland Security figures obtained by Axios last week revealed that the Trump administration is still deporting less immigrants than Obama did.