While he did not mention Trump by name, Obama did ask in a Facebook post if the United States was a country that ‘accepts the cruelty of ripping children from their parents’ arms, or are we a nation that values families.’
He posted his soliloquy before Trump signed an executive order reversing his policy of separating migrant children from their families.
‘To watch those families broken apart in real time puts to us a very simple question: are we a nation that accepts the cruelty of ripping children from their parents’ arms, or are we a nation that values families, and works to keep them together? Do we look away, or do we choose to see something of ourselves and our children?,’ Obama wrote in his Facebook post.
He also noted that as a nation ‘we have to do more than say ‘this isn’t who we are.’ We have to prove it – through our policies, our laws, our actions, and our votes.’
But Obama’s administration also detained children, albeit with their families.
Under Obama’s administration, families were detained together in detention centers while awaiting trial, earning protests and public outrage at the time.
A court ruled those detention centers violated the law and that families should be released together.
The Obama administration also had a policy of releasing families through a program called Alternatives to Detention that allowed them to be closely supervised by devices such as ankle monitors.
Trump’s ‘zero tolerance’ policy has resulted in thousands of children being held in centers separated from their families.
The administration separated 1,995 children from 1,940 adults from April 19 to May 31 after zero tolerance was announced, according to the Department of Homeland Security.
‘To find a way to welcome the refugee and the immigrant – to be big enough and wise enough to uphold our laws and honor our values at the same time – is part of what makes us American,’ Obama wrote.
Trump has come under bipartisan fire for the policy, which he reversed on Wednesday when he signed an executive order ending family separation at the border.
The president directed the Department of Homeland Security to detain families together so long as children are not put into danger.
‘I didn’t like the sight or the feeling of families being separated,’ the president stated.
Trump did not end the ‘zero tolerance’ provision of his policy that requires the prosecution of all unlawful immigrants as criminals. His order merely authorizes DHS to hold families together while prosecution is pending.
SOURCE: DailyMail, EMILY GOODIN