The party is twisting itself into a pretzel to defend the most restrictive immigration policies in decades.

by Thomas Kennedy, Truthout

In 2019, I stood outside a for-profit child migrant jail in the city of Homestead, Florida. I was watching then-presidential hopeful Sen. Kamala Harris speak out against the facility, initially opened under the Obama administration and reopened under former President Donald Trump. “It’s a human rights abuse being committed by the United States government,” Harris said at the time, flanked by fellow Democratic candidates Julian Castro, Pete Buttigieg and Kirsten Gillibrand.

The parade of candidates making the obligatory campaign stop at this immigrant jail that caused so much outrage across the country included every Democratic presidential candidate competing in the 2020 cycle, excluding Joe Biden — who probably wanted to avoid uncomfortable questions regarding the facility’s origins while he was the sitting vice president. I was the political director of a statewide immigrant rights organization at the time, and part of my job was to help coordinate visits to this facility by different campaigns and to generate media coverage of the mistreatment of minors we knew was happening within its walls.

colombian refugees at US border

The facility was closed not too long after that, and it was celebrated by politicians and talking heads associated with the Democratic Party as a resounding victory against Trump-era anti-immigrant policies.

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