immigrant children holding centers kids cages
© Reuters / Eric Gay
Holding center for migrant children in Carrizo Springs, June 2019
The first child immigration detainment facility under President Joe Biden opened this week, prompting Democrats who had attacked former President Donald Trump for maintaining similar facilities to go on the defensive.

A former oil field worker camp in Carrizo Springs, Texas, it was briefly used as a detainment facility by the Trump administration in 2019 before being closed down, but is now back in operation to hold "up to 700 children," with the Biden administration saying it was needed since capacity has been cut at other facilities due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Immigration activists were saddened to hear of the facility reopening, with lawyer Linda Brandmiller telling the Washington Post it was "unnecessary,""costly," and "absolutely against everything Biden promised he was going to do."

Activist Rosey Abuabara, who was reportedly arrested for protesting against the camp in 2019, told the Post she cried upon hearing that the facility was opening again. "I don't have any hope that Biden is going to make it better," she said.

There was plenty of criticism on social media, too, with some taking aim at Biden and the Democrats, noting that during his campaign he had expressed opposition to child detainment facilities - often referred to by critics and the media as "kids in cages" under the Trump administration.


Others described the facility as a concentration camp and a "child prison," with one journalist writing, "They're literally reopening Trump child camps but saying it's good this time."


Americans also took aim at the Washington Post for its more muted language in describing the camp, compared to the newspaper's coverage of similar facilities under President Trump.


There were liberals who defended the reopening of the camp under Biden, however.

One anti-Trump tweeter told critics that the containers used at the facility "offer privacy" which kids "do not have in cages," and that it was "the fastest and cheapest alternative" until a permanent solution is found.


Another user compared the facility units to "mobile homes that people live in all over the country," prompting an actual mobile home resident to point out that he doesn't have bars on his windows and has the ability to leave the home when he desires.