Under Trump, kids in ‘cages,’ ‘tent cities’ — but under Biden, they’re ‘semi-permanent structures’

February 8, 2021

By Ella Carroll-Smith

The Biden administration announced that it will open a facility in Texas to house up to 700 migrant children, which officials deemed a “Temporary Influx Care Facility.”

According to the Department of Health and Human Services, the facility will place the waiting children “in hard-sided structures.

“Additional semi-permanent (soft-sided) capacity may be added if necessary, though ORR will always prioritize placing children in hard-sided over semi-permanent structures.”

In 2018, Trump was highly criticized for a policy that separated migrant children from their parents. Photos circulated showing young children held in metal, fenced areas and the media went berserk, declaring that Trump was putting kids in “cages.” 

It didn’t matter that the family separation policy (which Trump then attempted to reverse, so that families could be detained together instead) was from the Obama administration. Nor did it matter that the photos of the kids in “cages” were actually from 2014, and also courtesy of the Obama administration. 

Mainstream media outlets still lambasted Trump for the situation:

CNN: “Outrage grows as families are separated. Will Trump change his policy?” 

The Guardian: “Separation at the border: children wait in cages at south Texas warehouse

When the topic came up during the 2020 Presidential Debates, Trump called out Biden about the double standard, famously asking, “Who built the cages, Joe?” 

Yet now that the Biden administration has issued a policy regarding the housing of unaccompanied migrant children, there is no outrage. Mainstream media outlets deemed the housing an “overflow facility.” 

Trump was attacked for putting migrant children in “tent cities” but under Biden, tents are now referred to as “soft-sided structures.” 



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