Immigration lawyer R. Andrew Free recently tweeted a description and photos of a conversation with President Barack Obama in 2015 that revealed how long harsh treatment of families has been a heartbreaking problem at the southern border.
Thread: How did we get here?
In 2015, I shook President Obama’s hand, thanked him for DACA, and asked him to reverse course & close the for-profit baby jails (also known as “family detention centers”) he opened in Dilley & Karnes City, Texas. What he said shook me to my core 1/ pic.twitter.com/K5vi6S2RPj
— R. Andrew Free (@ImmCivilRights) June 19, 2018
What did President Obama say?
Free described the interaction in a detailed Twitter thread: “In 2015, I shook President Obama’s hand, thanked him for DACA, and asked him to reverse course & close the for-profit baby jails (also known as ‘family detention centers’) he opened in Dilley & Karnes City, Texas.”
According to Free, Obama said this in response: ““I’ll tell you what we can’t have. It’s these parents sending their kids here on a dangerous journey and putting their lives at risk.”
What else should I know?
The Obama administration used “aggressive” policies to discourage illegal immigrants. In one example from July 2015, the ACLU fought to stop a government policy of locking up mothers and children from Central America who were claiming asylum.
On today’s show, Glenn remembered when he was one of the few people to care about the crisis at the border. While Free isn’t necessarily someone who would agree with Glenn (or vice versa), Glenn found his perspective valuable because he at least showed consistency.
“We both agree that these ‘baby jails’ are wrong and that we should not be separating kids from their parents,” Glenn said.