But a reporter who saw how those kids are treated said that’s not the case at all.
“What I saw there was little children sitting on concrete floors covered by Mylar blankets supervised by security contractors in a watchtower,” journalist Jacob Soboroff said on MSNBC after Thursday night’s debate. “It makes me sick every time I recall it.”
Soboroff also shared audio of a child who hadn’t seen his father in almost three years:
Monday I spoke with a still-separated father and son. The young man is eight now, living in CA with relatives and hasn’t seen his dad in nearly three years. @AlOtroLado_Org trying to reunite them. Listen to audio which aired on @NicolleDWallace’s show. pic.twitter.com/9OWaVpotKN
— Jacob Soboroff (@jacobsoboroff) October 23, 2020
Soboroff, who was among the group of reporters allowed to tour the facilities in 2018, wrote the book “Separated: Inside An American Tragedy” about Trump’s “zero tolerance” policy in which families coming across the border were separated.
A federal court ordered an end to the separations and also ordered the U.S. government to reunite the children with their families. However, to date, at least 545 children are still living with foster families or distant relatives as the government has been unable to locate their parents, who were sent back to their home nations, often in Central America.
“The government literally cannot find them,” Soboroff said. “They were warned they would not be able to find them. These families have been separated for over three years in some instances.”
The Physicians for Human Rights said the children’s mistreatment meets the United Nations definition of torture, Soboroff said. The American Academy of Pediatrics called it “government-sanctioned child abuse.”
“And the president of the United States I guess interprets that as children being well taken care of,” he said.
Trump also claimed the Obama administration had a similar policy, but Soboroff fact-checked that as well.
“No one else ever did this,” he said. “This was uniquely a Trump administration policy.”
Also on HuffPost
This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.