Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) was forced to backtrack Friday after he undercut Democratic talking points regarding the growing migrant crisis at the southern United States border.
What are Democrats doing?
As the migrant crisis intensifies, Democrats have been downplaying the seriousness of the crisis. The Biden administration, for example, has refused to call the situation a "crisis."
Reports indicate that some migrant children are being forced to sleep on the floor while others can only take one shower per week. One facility in Donna, Texas, even reached more than 700% capacity. Many of the housing families are "akin to jails," the New York Times reported.
Currently, there are more than 13,000 migrant children in U.S. custody, according to CBS News:
On Tuesday, the U.S. government had more than 13,000 unaccompanied migrant children in its custody. More than 4,200 were stuck in Border Patrol facilities unfit to house them, including 3,000 who had been held beyond a 72-hour legal limit. Another 9,200 minors were being housed in shelters that are scrambling to reactivate beds taken offline during the pandemic.
What did Murphy say?
Murphy admitted Friday that migrant children are being separated from their families.
"Just left the border processing facility. 100s of kids packed into big open rooms. In a corner, I fought back tears as a 13 yr old girl sobbbed (sic) uncontrollably explaining thru a translator how terrified she was, having been separated from her grandmother and without her parents," Murphy tweeted.
Just left the border processing facility. 100s of kids packed into big open rooms. In a corner, I fought back tears… https://t.co/3W8ZeDOxll— Chris Murphy (@Chris Murphy) 1616186084.0
In response, many people noted that Murphy just admitted that minors are being separated from their family members under President Joe Biden's leadership, a reality that was harshly criticized during the Trump administration.
For example, Fox News host and Townhall editor Katie Pavlich noted, "The Biden administration is separating kids from their family members, according to this Democrat Senator."
Meanwhile, Steve Guest, an adviser to Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), highlighted Biden's promise to end "family separation."
https://t.co/5aEIB8PJJ3 https://t.co/kbTfIay6EN— Steve Guest (@Steve Guest) 1616187208.0
Later, Murphy clarified that children are not being taken from their parents — just other relatives.
"For clarification, kids are no longer separated from their parents at the border (in this case, the girl's parents are in the US). But even though kids can now stay and apply for asylum, if they are traveling w relatives who aren't parents, the relative can't stay," Murphy said.
Finally, Murphy defended the Biden administration's handling of the crisis — and, of course, blamed the Trump administration for the current situation.
"[T]he Biden Administration is trying their best to uphold the rule of law with humanity. They have a ton of work ahead to clean up the mess Trump left them, but their intentions are true," Murphy said.
"The desperation these kids and families are fleeing is hard to describe. The memory of that 13 yr old girl will be w me forever. So long as conditions are abysmal in places south, people will find a way to get here, no matter how high the wall is or how many border agents," he added.
2/ The desperation these kids and families are fleeing is hard to describe. The memory of that 13 yr old girl will… https://t.co/SzYq9EPMQY— Chris Murphy (@Chris Murphy) 1616188126.0
Despite attempts from Democratic politicians to downplay the crisis — such as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi calling it a "humanitarian challenge" — immigration activists say the current situation mirrors what was criticized under former President Donald Trump.
"It really does look and feel in many ways like a parent-child separation," Lisa Koop, associate director of legal services at the National Immigrant Justice Center, told USA Today. "The trauma of the separation is very similar."