President Trump and his Democratic challenger Joe Biden have both faced criticism over their respective immigration records, a topic that came to the fore at the presidential debate on Thursday night.
Trump specifically was asked what the United States is doing to find the parents of over 500 migrant children who were separated from their families at the U.S.-Mexico border and haven't been reunited. "Children are brought here by coyotes and lots of bad people," Trump claimed, adding vaguely that "we're trying very hard" to reunite the families.
"Coyotes didn't bring them over, their parents were with them," Biden said in response. "They were separated from their parents. And it makes us the laughing stock and it violates every notion of who we are as a nation."
"Who built the cages, Joe? Talk about who built the cages," Trump said.
"Let's talk about what happened," Biden went on. "Parents — their kids were ripped from their arms, and separated. And now they cannot find over 500 sets of those parents. And those kids are alone. Nowhere to go, nowhere to go. It's criminal. It's criminal.”
"They are so well taken care of," Trump said in defense. "They’re in facilities that are so clean."
Biden also faced pressure over the Obama administration's immigration policies, under which there were record deportations. "We made a mistake," Biden said of that 2013 effort. "We took too long to get it right."
He noted that this time around, there would be a major difference: "I'll be president United States, not vice president, United States.”