There's a story floating around Conservative Internet lately in response to the controversy about undocumented immigrant children being separated from their families and caged in detention centers. In the story, family separations were a democrat idea, one that has been going on since the Obama administration.
While the numbers show a vast increase in action by ICE during the Trump administration, there is truth to the story about the Obama administration leaving kids vulnerable to human traffickers. The Washington Post reported in 2016 that;
The Office of Refugee Resettlement, an agency of the Department of Health and Human Services, failed to do proper background checks of adults who claimed the children, allowed sponsors to take custody of multiple unrelated children, and regularly placed children in homes without visiting the locations, according to a 56-page investigative report released Thursday.
After the kids were released, the agencies responsible for the children's welfare did not do the follow up research into their welfare. Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) initiated a six-month investigation after a group of Guatemalan teenagers were found under guard in a dilapidated trailer and forced to work in an egg farm.
“It is intolerable that human trafficking — modern-day slavery — could occur in our own backyard,” Portman said in a written statement. “What makes the Marion cases even more alarming is that a U.S. government agency was responsible for delivering some of the victims into the hands of their abusers.”
When kids weren't being claimed by relatives, traffickers were able to have associates file false fostering applications and the kids were released in their care, where they would be put to work in the agricultural industry. The kids were often forced to pay off a "debt" to the traffickers, which could get up to $10,000 dollars. It's a shocking violation of human rights and one that should be addressed.
That said, the attention focused on this story by the right is a big example of Whataboutism,
The tactic is a type of logical fallacy that attempts to discredit the opponent's position by accusing hypocrisy. It functions as a diversionary tactic to distract the opponent from their original criticism. Thus, the technique is used to avoid directly refuting or disproving the opponent's initial argument.