Rachel Maddow Uses Photos of Immigrant Children Held in Cages During Obama Administration — While Blaming Trump


MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow used images of children held in cages during the Obama administration in a segment blasting President Donald Trump over the issue.

“In terms of permanent damage done to humans, in terms of the severity of the damage deliberately done to humans, the Trump administration, no matter what else they do, they will never ever get out from the shadow of the fact that they really did, as a policy and a deliberate practice, they really did take little kids away from their moms and dads,” she said on the September 15 edition of The Rachel Maddow Show.

“They outfitted the kids with Mylar blankets and a lump of padding that was supposed to qualify as a mattress, and they told them to sleep on the floor,” Maddow added.

As Maddow spoke, photos taken by the Associated Press in 2014 — during President Barack Obama’s tenure in office — showed immigrant children held in cages. One of the photos displayed showed children wrapped in the metal foil blankets provided by U.S. Customers and Border Protection.

The photos became viral in 2018 as they were repeatedly — and mistakenly — used to show the condition of immigrants detained in the Trump era. Former Obama speechwriter Jon Favreau tweeted some of the AP pictures that year as well, writing: “This is happening right now, and the only debate that matters is how we force our government to get these kids back to their families as fast as humanly possible.”

Favreau subsequently deleted the post, but not before it caught the president’s attention. “Democrats mistakenly tweet 2014 pictures from Obama’s term showing children from the Border in steel cages,” Trump wrote on Twitter. “They thought it was recent pictures in order to make us look bad, but backfires.”

The chain-linked enclosures in question were built during the Obama era to serve as temporary housing for migrants apprehended illegally crossing the border. Trump eventually ended the policy of family separation with an executive order signed in June 2018, but former First Lady Michelle Obama criticized the president over the issue again in a speech at last month’s Democratic National Convention, claiming children under Trump “are torn from their families and thrown into cages.”

The Associated Press published a subsequent fact-check mentioning the use of its pictures and issuing its own assessment. “The Obama administration separated migrant children from families under certain limited circumstances, like when the child’s safety appeared at risk or when the parent had a serious criminal history. But family separations as a matter of routine came about because of Trump’s ‘zero tolerance’ enforcement policy, which he eventually suspended because of the uproar. Obama had no such policy.”

Watch above via MSNBC.

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