When it comes to examining the immigration crisis dominating the news cycle, Americans must question why there was no public outrage — or widespread media coverage — when the Obama administration deported 3 million illegal immigrants.
It’s not long ago that the former Democratic administration conducted ICE raids, instilling fear in the immigrant community, yet few, if anyone, accused President Obama or Vice President Joe Biden of being inhumane. Nor did Democrats compare U.S. detention centers that are temporarily housing illegal immigrants while their claims are being processed to Nazi concentration camps.
Add to it the mishandling of many unaccompanied children while in U.S. custody during the Obama/Biden years and images of migrants sleeping on the floor in controversial detention centers Democrats are now calling “cages.”
But that’s not all. In 2016, the Washington Post reported, “The Obama administration failed to protect thousands of Central American children who have flooded across the U.S. border since 2011, leaving them vulnerable to traffickers and to abuses at the hands of government-approved caretakers, a Senate investigation has found.”
Now contrast that to what’s happening today.
If you turn on any TV channel or examine mainstream media’s coverage of the immigration crisis at the southern border, you’ll see the left is up in arms over the Trump administration’s handling of the crisis, including its deportation raids that are targeting approximately 2,000 families whose immigration cases have been fully adjudicated. Instead of applauding the president for upholding the rule of law — laws that Democratic members of Congress had a hand in crafting — the left is trying to paint the president and his administration as inhumane “white nationalists” who heartlessly break up poor immigrant families.
Never mind that the Obama administration did the same thing — as did prior administrations, going back decades.
What clear-eyed voters see is politics at play, a dual system chock-full of faux “outrage” when it comes to the plight of migrants — depending on which party is in power.
When Republicans uphold the rule of law, they’re quickly painted by the left as “racists,” “fascists” or “Nazis,” but when a Democratic administration deports millions of illegals from similar places of origin, it gets a pass.
Add to it that Barack Obama, Joe Biden and other members of the administration weren’t personally attacked like the Trump administration is every single day, nor were their reputations maligned. To the contrary, they were by and large commended for respecting the rule of law when it came to immigration.
Here’s the deal. In 2015, immigrant advocacy groups including the American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona filed a class action lawsuit against the Obama administration for the appalling treatment of illegal immigrants being housed in Customs and Border Protection detention centers. The suit alleges that migrants in U.S. custody were “deprived of beds, bedding, and sleep; denied adequate food, water, medicine and medical care, and basic sanitation and hygiene items such as soap, sufficient toilet paper, sanitary napkins, diapers, and showers.”
If you’re just learning about this years later, there’s a reason: Virtually zero media covered it at the time.
That tells you all you need to know.
Adriana Cohen is a syndicated columnist with the Boston Herald. Follow her on Twitter @AdrianaCohen16.