Former Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson appeared on “Fox News Sunday” and said illegal immigrant children were being separated from their families under President Barack Obama.
“We believed it was necessary at the time,” Johnson said of the highly controversial practice. “I still believe it is necessary.”
Fox News host Chris Wallace showed images of illegal immigrants, to include minors, being held in jail facilities, saying the Obama administration “started jailing entire families” in 2014, before asking Johnson if they handled it well back then.
The question coming amid the media-generated firestorm over illegal immigrants being treated much the same way under the Trump administration — albeit under improved living conditions, according to President Trump.
“In some cases, not a lot, but in some, you separated children from their parents in these pictures that we are putting up,” Wallace said.
Johnson did not run away from the reality being depicted on screen.
“Well, Chris, without a doubt the images and the reality from 2014 just like 2018 are not pretty,” he said. “And so, we expanded family detention. We had then 34,000 beds for family detention, only 95 of 34,000 equipped to deal with families.”
Johnson acknowledged that it was “controversial” — fortunately for him, the media had a slobbering love affair with the Obama administration, which limited any real impact from the decision.
“We believed it was necessary at the time,” he added. “I still believe it is necessary to main a certain capability for families. We cannot have catch and release and in my three years we deported or repatriated, or returned over a million people.”
Ironically, Johnson mimicked President Trump’s insistence Sunday that the problem must be dealt with at the border.
“But, again, you can deal with this on the border,” the former Obama administration official said. “You can try different things. We did not want to go so far as to separate families.”
Trump took to Twitter on Sunday to say our immigration laws are a mockery and that illegal immigrants arriving at our border need to be sent “back from where they came” without going through any judicial process.
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) June 24, 2018
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