“No More Kids In Cages” Was a Lie

Azu Esparza Hernandez, opinions editor

During Joe Biden’s campaign for presidency, his team rolled out “The Biden Plan For Securing Our Values As A Nation Of Immigrants”. This plan was formed of steps that would eradicate many of the immigration policies created by the Trump administration. Over a month later, these steps have not been taken. On the contrary, one of the Trump era immigration practices has been reinforced, as just last month a new migrant facility for children was opened in Carrizo Springs, Texas. Along with this, many other “emergency shelters” have been opened back up in order to make more space for detainees. These include another facility in Homestead, Florida and a temporary tent shelter in Tornillo, Texas. 

In an effort to clear up any confusion regarding the reasoning behind opening this facility, President Biden commented on the criticism his administration was facing. In an interview with Univision he said “Our hope and expectation is that [the facility] won’t stay open very long, that we will be able to provide for every kid that comes across the border to safely be housed in a facility that is licensed.” 

Biden claims that the facility was due to COVID-19 restrictions in order to make more space available for social distancing amongst the young detainees. However, there should not be children in cages in the first place. It is difficult to accept this expansion in the name of safety regulations. 

The lack of transparency in the administration regarding the reopening of these facilities has sparked outrage. Activists have gathered to protest against the reopening of the different facilities. Most recently, the United We Dream “Close the Camps” car rally took place March 4, 2021 in Homestead, Florida to protest the Homestead facility that is soon to be reopened.

Thomas Kennedy, Florida coordinator for United We Dream, wrote his thoughts on the for-profit detention facility in Homestead. He says, “Homestead should be shut down for good and the Biden administration urged to use every tool at its disposal to release immigrants from detention and reconnect these children with loved ones and guardians already living in the United States.” 

This criticism comes in part from a feeling of betrayal due to political deception. After months filled with promises to the immigrant community during Biden’s campaign for presidency, this move is hurtful to his supporters. The administration’s promise to “immediately reverse the Trump administration’s cruel and senseless policies that separate parents from their children at our border,” has failed to ring true. Promises made during a political campaign should be kept. It is the bare minimum in being a leader for the country.