Fox News anchor Chris Wallace confronted Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on Sunday, pointing out that while the Republican governor has been outspoken about migrant children abuses during the Biden administration he was silent on the issue during President Donald Trump’s term.
With conservatives describing the recent surge of unaccompanied minors at the southern border as an unmitigated disaster and crisis, Abbott rushed to hold a press conference last week after state officials received some tips that migrant children were subjected to sexual abuse at a temporary shelter in San Antonio.
“These problems are a byproduct of President Biden’s open border policies and the lack of planning for the fallout from those disastrous policies,” Abbott told reporters outside the facility, adding: “Children at this facility are being sexually assaulted.”
“In short, this facility is a health and safety nightmare. The Biden administration is now presiding over the abuse of children,” the governor concluded. “To end this abuse, the Biden administration must immediately shut down this facility.”
During his interview with Abbott on Fox News Sunday, however, Wallace brought up the fact that the Trump-boosting Republican remained silent back just a couple of years earlier when it was revealed that over a thousand migrant children reported sexual abuse and harassment while in federal custody.
“You made news this week reporting that there are cases of sexual abuse at the Freeman Coliseum in San Antonio, Texas, that houses right now more than 1600 children,” the Fox News moderator said. “But the head of a nonprofit that provides legal services to immigrants said this: ‘The only reason why Abbott is now acting like he cares about the children in these facilities is for political reasons.’”
Wallace continued: “Governor, there were thousands of complaints of sexual abuse at migrant shelters during the Trump years. Not to say that what’s going on now is right but we couldn’t find one instance of you complaining and calling that out when President Trump was president.”
Abbott, meanwhile, largely dodged Wallace’s question, claiming there were “multiple differences between what happened in the Trump administration” and the current White House.
After insisting that the Trump administration had remained in “constant communication” with him about any issues with detained migrants and that those abuse allegations were “filed with federal agencies,” the governor then brushed aside any criticism over his previous silence.
“But don’t fall prey to Democrats and others saying, ‘Well, Abbott didn’t complain about this in the past,’ he concluded. “What they need to focus on is exactly what I called attention to last month in Dallas, Texas, where I pointed out then that there were going to be instances of child sexual abuse taking place.”