Joseph R. Biden Jr. and President Trump sparred over family separations at the southern border, after an explosive report this week revealed the United States cannot locate the parents of more than 500 migrant children.
Asked repeatedly if he had a plan to reunite the children with their parents, Mr. Trump initially dodged the question before saying his administration was “working on it” and “trying very hard.”
“But a lot of these kids come out without the parents,” Mr. Trump then claimed. “They come over through cartels and through coyotes and through gangs.”
Mr. Biden accused Mr. Trump of separating children at the border to discourage migrants from trying to cross the border.
“Coyotes didn’t bring them over. Their parents were with them. They got separated from their parents,” Mr. Biden said, dismissing Mr. Trump’s claim. “And it makes us a laughingstock and violates every notion of who we are as a nation.”
Mr. Biden also referred to family separations as “criminal,” as Mr. Trump repeatedly asked Mr. Biden, “Who built the cages?”
Mr. Trump has repeatedly tried to cast former President Barack Obama as instigating the practice of family separations. While the Obama administration did break up families, it was rare.