While most of the world was fixated on the North Korean summit yesterday, the regular news cycle continued to grind onward in the background. A hot topic this month has been the “cruel” separation of children from illegal immigrant parents at the border. As you may recall, a bit of a flap developed when a picture of children being held in cages went viral, with many liberals citing it as proof of President Donald Trump’s callous attitude toward “migrants.” That story left a lot of critics in an awkward position when it was revealed that the picture in question was taken in 2014 when Barack Obama was still in charge.
California Senator Dianne Feinstein (D) showed up on State of the Union yesterday morning and Jake Tapper put the obvious question to her. Where was all of this outrage when Barack Obama was “cruelly” separating children from their parents and locking them up like dogs in a kennel? Feinstein’s answer may be an honest one – at least to a degree – but it doesn’t paint her in a very flattering light. She claims she really didn’t know much about it at the time. (Free Beacon)
“There were a lot of things done to undocumented immigrants that the immigrant community was very upset about during the Obama years, that Democrats didn’t seem as outspoken about,” Tapper said.
“What do you say to people who are saying, ‘where was all this activism during the Obama years?'” he asked.
“I don’t believe that it was nearly to the extent that it is today. And candidly, I didn’t really know enough about it at that time to focus on it,” Feinstein said.
“I do know about it now,” she said, mentioning a Judiciary Committee meeting on the issue and what she has learned.
Here’s the video. It’s only two minutes long, but you can see the discomfort on Feinstein’s face as her obvious double standard is exposed.
So, as I said, we can probably assume that her answer is accurate. She didn’t bring up the subject back then because she didn’t really know much about it. But given the vast importance being placed on the issue today, how could one of her party’s senior senators have been kept in the dark?
Allow me to offer one theory as to why Senator Feinstein “didn’t know about it” in 2014. She never asked. Nobody asked. And that particularly applies to the media. Nobody wanted to find out any negative stories that might upset the applecart of the Obama presidency. It’s just the same as how nobody once thought to question the travel expenses and itinerary of EPA boss Gina McCarthy when she went to Italy, but it was suddenly a scandal when Scott Pruitt did it for half the cost.
It would also help if critics such as Feinstein took the time to learn about the immigration laws and policies which are currently in place and where they originated. Rich Lowry recently published an excellent summary of the situation at National Review which is worth a read. Under Trump, immigration enforcement isn’t doing anything that hasn’t already been on the books for a long time. The only difference is that an unofficial policy of “look the other way” had taken hold during Obama’s tenure. Border officials are following the law, and in most cases the period of time that a child is separate from their parents is measured in hours. The exceptions come when the adult is either found to be a felon who is held for prosecution or if the adult attempts to claim asylum. In those cases, children can be separated for an extended period and, by law, must be sent to the care of a responsible party within a set number of days.
Still, it sounds as if Democrats will continue attacking the White House and immigration enforcement officials even if they have all of this information. It’s a midterm election year, after all. And the press will continue to kick over every rock and file FOIA requests for every last lunch order receipt, precisely the way they didn’t when Obama was in office.