The Biden administration is now warehousing nearly 20,000 migrant minors, almost double the highest total in federal custody during the Trump administration, which was 11,400 in May 2019.
When hundreds of protesters showed up outside a tent facility for migrant youth near the U.S.-Mexico border in Tornillo, Texas, in December 2018, singing and chanting loudly for their release, then-Rep. Beto O’Rourke was among them, microphone in hand, to denounce the Trump administration.
“Let’s continue to show up here,” he said. “We can witness with our own eyes, testify with our own words to our fellow Americans what is going on here.”https://89301b18e0b890ddaf2f39a7bcd4d9d7.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html#xpc=sf-gdn-exp-4&p=https%3A//thefederalist.com
Five months earlier outside this same South Texas facility, then-congressional candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez staged an emotional photo op, covering her face in anguish and weeping for the children being held in what the Associated Press later called a “detention camp” in an “isolated corner of the Texas desert.”
Indeed, for Democrats and the corporate press, the Tornillo facility, which at one point housed more than 2,800 migrant teens during the 2019 border crisis, became a symbol of Trump’s supposed malevolence towards migrants and the cruelty of his policies.
The hundreds of white tents and barbed-wire perimeter fencing at Tornillo served as an ideal setting for numerous exposé-style news reports from the border, purporting to show how Trump’s ruthless immigration policies were victimizing vulnerable migrant kids. Every time the Trump administration expanded the facility, the media would meticulously document it.
By the end of January 2019, the federal government was dismantling the tents at Tornillo. The minors housed there were released to parents and relatives living in the United States or transferred to other facilities. Trump’s critics cheered the closure. One immigration activist told the Washington Post that Tornillo had been “a monstrosity of an idea.”