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Same Policy, Different Presidents

Shocked, shocked:

On Fox News Sunday, host Chris Wallace interviewed former DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson, who said that under President Barack Obama, they did detain some children alone and some families together, two policies for which Donald Trump has been under considerable fire.

After President Trump signed an executive order last week to stop the separation of families at the border, the administration took new fire for the idea that families would be detained together. Rep. Louis “The secretary of Homeland Security has lost all morals when it comes to protecting children and enforcing our immigration laws.”

It is also something for which the ACLU blasted President Obama years ago.

On Sunday, former Secretary Johnson told Chris Wallace that they thought it was necessary at the time, and that it is still is.

Wallace showed now infamous photos from 2014 of children in detention and asked if the Obama administration had handled things “so well.”

“Without a doubt the images, and the reality, from 2014, just like 2018, are not pretty,” said Johnson. “We expanded it, I freely admit it was controversial, we believed it was necessary at the time, I still believe it is necessary to remain a certain capability for families.”

Johnson also addressed another phrase that has come up many times in the last week, saying directly that “we can’t have catch and release” and stating that under his DHS in the Obama administration they “deported or repatriated” over a million people.

The “zero tolerance” policy of the Trump administration prosecutes all persons referred by DHS for attempting to cross the border outside of a port of entry. It was announced by Attorney General Jeff Sessions and currently remains in place.

And yet, Johnson — and every other member of the Obama cabinet — were able to eat in restaurants and appear in public without fear of attack by leftists. Wow.

Carlo Lancellotti understands the meaning of this:

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about the author

Rod Dreher is a senior editor at The American Conservative. He has written and edited for the New York Post, The Dallas Morning News, National Review, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, the Washington Times, and the Baton Rouge Advocate. Rod’s commentary has been published in The Wall Street Journal, Commentary, the Weekly Standard, Beliefnet, and Real Simple, among other publications, and he has appeared on NPR, ABC News, CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, and the BBC. He lives in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, with his wife Julie and their three children. He has also written four books, The Little Way of Ruthie Leming, Crunchy Cons, How Dante Can Save Your Life, and The Benedict Option.

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