Democratic lawmakers and media outlets were criticized heavily for spreading a false narrative about the Trump administration detaining migrant children in former internment camps.
One of the offending Democrats was Democratic Senator Merkley of Oregon.
“This photo of a Japanese American internment camp represents one of the darkest chapters of our history,” Merkley tweeted. “Yesterday it was announced Donald Trump will be reopening one of these camps to detain migrant children.”
“These children belong in homes, schools, and parks—not prison camps,” he added.
What he neglected to explain was that Trump was not “reopening” the camp, but that it was already open, and that former President Barack Obama had also detained migrant children there.
Rep. Mark Takano (D-Calif.) also posted the accusation without noting that Obama had already done what he was excoriating.
“It’s immoral for our government to be doing this to children seeking asylum,” tweeted Takano. “Internment was a dark time in our history — we can’t allow history to repeat itself.”
In fact, the Time article he posted admitted as such:
Using military bases in this way is not new. In 2014, the Obama Administration placed around 7,700 migrant children on bases in Texas, California and Oklahoma, including Fort Sill. The temporary shelters were shuttered after four months. Last year, the government evaluated several military bases to shelter migrants, but ultimately decided not to use the facilities.
Opinion writer James Taranto noted that there had been reporting in 2014 of the Obama administration doing the same, but not the connection to Japanese internment camps.
The ACLU and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) made similar accusations against Trump.
Here’s a report about the Trump admin plan:
HHS to house migrant children at Fort Sill