‘Are You Or Are You Not Detaining Children?’: Meghan McCain Presses Jen Psaki On Migrant Detention Facilities

Virginia Kruta Associate Editor
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Meghan McCain pushed back on White House press secretary Jen Psaki over new migrant detention facilities during a Thursday appearance on ABC’s “The View.”

McCain asked Psaki how the facilities opened under President Joe Biden’s administration differed from those used by former President Donald Trump. (RELATED: ‘Extremely Bad Message’: Meghan McCain Rips Democrats For Double Standard On Andrew Cuomo And Brett Kavanaugh)


“This week a migrant facility that operated under the Trump administration for only a month in September of 2019 is being reactivated,” McCain began, noting that both President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris had spoken out against “kids in cages” during the campaign.

“I feel like this is the same thing, and that you’re still detaining kids at the border and it’s not meaningfully different than what President Trump was doing,” McCain said.

“Absolutely not the same thing, Meghan. We are not ripping children from the arms of their parents. That is horrible and immoral and something we saw in the last administration,” Psaki replied, going on to say that the goal of the Biden administration was to make sure that the kids could be kept safe as they came across the border.

“This is incredibly difficult. It’s heart-wrenching and it’s a really difficult decision but it’s the best decision we felt we could make to keep these kids safe until we can get them to the right places and to the right homes,” Psaki continued.

“I just want to know are you or are you not detaining children separately in a different facility?” McCain pressed again.

“Well, Meghan, this is a facility that was reopened,” Psaki pushed back. “It was revamped and it was redone to have these kids in a place where they could have access to educational services, health services so they could find proper homes. We can’t send them directly to families that haven’t been vetted. We’ve seen issues with that in the past. We can’t have them all in the former HHS facility because of COVID, and we need to make sure there are safety protocols so they’re not in beds next to each other.”

McCain pointed out that even some Democrats — namely New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez — had been critical of the move, saying that kids were still being separated from their families.

Psaki concluded by saying that the important takeaway was that the Biden administration was not “ripping kids from the arms of their parents” and that was what set their policies apart from those of former President Trump.