Just about everyone in Washington is outraged over the Trump administration's zero tolerance policy at the border that separates illegal immigrant families and places them in detention centers. The policy has separated about 2,000 children from their parents since April. Yet, some are beginning to admit that families had been separated long before Trump came to town. Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-TX) recalled how many unaccompanied undocumented minors were being detained during the Obama years. You just didn't hear about it.
“It was kept very quiet under the Obama administration," he said on Fredricka Whitfield's CNN program Saturday. "There were large numbers of people coming in. The Obama administration was trying to keep this quiet.”
While the two were talking, Whitfield displayed some images of a detention center from June 2014, including one of a child being kept in a cage. Cuellar said he had released some similar photos of his own. Almost 70,000 unaccompanied minors were apprehended at the border in 2014, according to the Washington Post.
Since April, 2,000 children have been reported to have been separated from their parents. Some of the minors being placed in detention centers, however, are not being separated by their families, Cuellar explained, because some of them are coming alone.
Several notable figures, including multiple members of the Bush family, have railed against the Trump White House's zero tolerance policy. Former First Lady Laura Bush called it "cruel," while former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush called it "heartless."
President Trump and his cabinet have admitted they too don't like the separation policy, but have blamed Democratic policies for the current mess. On Monday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions suggested a few simple solutions.
WATCH: AG Sessions on Trump admin. policy of separating migrant families at US border: "If we build a wall, we pass some legislation, we close some loopholes, we won’t face these terrible choices." https://t.co/JFCjmsQeqm pic.twitter.com/bK2jpkcgC4— NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt (@NBCNightlyNews) June 18, 2018