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Trump tweets images of Obamaera family migrant holding centers
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Trump tweets images of Obamaera family migrant holding centers

President Trump tried to deflect criticism of his migrant family separation policy on Saturday by tweeting a link to photos showing children lying in Obama-era holding centers complete with cages and foil bed sheets.

Quoting a Drudge Report headline, Trump wrote: ''OBAMA KEPT THEM IN CAGES, WRAPPED THEM IN FOIL'' We do a much better job while at the same time maintaining a MUCH stronger Border! Mainstream Fake Media hates this story.'

The Daily Caller article linked by the news aggregation site contained numerous photos of children pictured in 2014 at Obama-era holding centers for unaccompanied young migrants in Brownsville, Texas, and Nogales, Arizona.

Trump followed up the first tweet with a barb at Democratic rivals Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer, who he accused of caring more for immigrants than US citizens.

'It’s very sad that Nancy Pelosi and her sidekick, Cryin’ Chuck Schumer, want to protect illegal immigrants far more than the citizens of our country,' he tweeted. 'The United States cannot stand for this. We wants [sic] safety and security at our borders!'  

Quoting a Drudge Report headline, Trump wrote: ''OBAMA KEPT THEM IN CAGES, WRAPPED THEM IN FOIL'' We do a much better job while at the same time maintaining a MUCH stronger Border! Mainstream Fake Media hates this story'

Quoting a Drudge Report headline, Trump wrote: ''OBAMA KEPT THEM IN CAGES, WRAPPED THEM IN FOIL'' We do a much better job while at the same time maintaining a MUCH stronger Border! Mainstream Fake Media hates this story'

Saturday also saw Trump aim a barb at Democratic house leader Nancy Pelosi and New York senator Chuck Schumer

Saturday also saw Trump aim a barb at Democratic house leader Nancy Pelosi and New York senator Chuck Schumer

The Daily Caller article linked by the news aggregation site contained numerous photos of children pictured in 2014 at Obama-era holding centers for unaccompanied young migrants, including this one in Nogales, Arizona, pictured on June 18, 2014 

The Daily Caller article linked by the news aggregation site contained numerous photos of children pictured in 2014 at Obama-era holding centers for unaccompanied young migrants, including this one in Nogales, Arizona, pictured on June 18, 2014 

The images Trump mentioned in his first tweet showed rows of young children sleeping inside a caged holding cell with foil bed sheets under the glare of bright lights inside a warehouse-style building. 

The President's tweet is the latest attempt to defend his now reversed policy of separating children from their parents by claiming it is similar to what Obama did when he was in power. 

In fact, although the immigration policy pursued by both president bears some similarities, there are also substantial differences.

In 2014, Obama responded to a huge rush of unaccompanied child migrants from Central America by establishing large centers to hold the youngsters while they were being processed. 

Images of these centers were what former Obama speechwriter Jon Favreau tweeted last month, incorrectly claiming they were from Trump's time in office when they were actually taken in 2014. 

From October 2013 through 2015 the Department of Health and Human Services placed nearly 90,000 children with a sponsor, after they were detained at the border without a legal guardian.

Two female detainees sleep in a holding cell at a center in Nogales, Arizona, on June 18, 2014. The center was set up to house unaccompanied child migrants who had crossed the border over the previous months

Two female detainees sleep in a holding cell at a center in Nogales, Arizona, on June 18, 2014. The center was set up to house unaccompanied child migrants who had crossed the border over the previous months

The President's tweet is the latest attempt to defend his now reversed policy of separating children from their parents by claiming it is similar to what Obama did when he was in power. Pictured: The processing facility in Brownsville, Texas, on June 18, 2014

The President's tweet is the latest attempt to defend his now reversed policy of separating children from their parents by claiming it is similar to what Obama did when he was in power. Pictured: The processing facility in Brownsville, Texas, on June 18, 2014

The images included rows of young children sleeping inside a caged holding cell with foil bed sheets under the glare of bright lights inside a warehouse-style building. Pictured: Nogales Placement Center pictured on June 18, 2014

The images included rows of young children sleeping inside a caged holding cell with foil bed sheets under the glare of bright lights inside a warehouse-style building. Pictured: Nogales Placement Center pictured on June 18, 2014

However, claims spread on social media that Obama pursued a deliberate policy of separating migrant children from their parents identical to Trump's approach are untrue. 

If children crossed the border with their parents, they were only separated if officials suspected the adult of human trafficking, smuggling, posing a national security risk or when the adult's relationship to the child could not be verified.

The Obama administration also detained families together — some indefinitely — with the intention of deterring future migrants back in 2014. This earned outrage at the time and was overturned after a 2016 legal challenge.

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen acknowledged on Monday the Trump administration implemented a new policy of separating children and re-classifying them as 'unaccompanied' when their parents were referred for criminal prosecution.

Gil Kerlikowske, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection commissioner from early 2014 to the end of Obama's term, said parents were split from their children if they were arrested on drug charges, for example, or had an outstanding warrant. 

President Trump has now signed an executive order bringing a halt to separations, although it is still not clear what will happen to the nearly 2,000 children who are still in limbo without their parents. 

Under Obama, if children crossed the border with their parents, they were only separated if officials suspected the adult of human trafficking, smuggling, posing a national security risk or when their parenthood could not be verified. Pictured: The center in Brownsville

Under Obama, if children crossed the border with their parents, they were only separated if officials suspected the adult of human trafficking, smuggling, posing a national security risk or when their parenthood could not be verified. Pictured: The center in Brownsville

Meanwhile, the Trump administration pursued a policy of deliberately separating children from their parents after they had crossed the border. Pictured:  Children in a Trump-era facility in McAllen on June 18, 2018

Meanwhile, the Trump administration pursued a policy of deliberately separating children from their parents after they had crossed the border. Pictured:  Children in a Trump-era facility in McAllen on June 18, 2018