Some illuminating background from the New York Times about detaining child immigrants:
The Trump administration moved on Thursday to remove court-imposed time limits on the detention of migrant children, proposing to end 20 years of judicial oversight ...If approved, the new regulation would upend a body of rules for detaining migrant children that has been in place since 1997. Multiple administrations have challenged the rules, which stem from a consent decree in a federal class-action lawsuit over the physical and emotional harm done to children held in jail-like settings for extended periods....
The 1997 consent decree was reached after advocates successfully argued that federal detention was damaging, physically and emotionally, to children's health and limited their access to legal counsel. In 2016, the courts extended the settlement to apply not only to children who were crossing the border alone, but to migrant families.
...In a ruling that countered nearly every argument the government posed, Judge Dolly M. Gee of the Federal District Court in Los Angeles called the government's motion "a cynical attempt" to shift immigration policymaking to the courts in the wake of "over 20 years of congressional inaction and ill-considered executive action that have led to the current stalemate."
Hmm. I wonder who was president in 1997? In 2016? The Times mentions "multiple administrations." Judge Gee, who, it turns out, was appointed by Obama, writes of "over 20 years of congressional inaction and ill-considered executive action." President Trump has been in office for not even two years, never mind 20. As the Times has noted, the same judge castigated the Obama administration for its treatment of child immigrants.
None of this is to absolve or excuse the Trump administration for its handling of child immigrants or to suggest that the Trump policy is the same as previous administrations. But it nonetheless all strikes me as useful context and perspective that is often missing from the summaries of the situation that you may take away from headlines or from treatments on the radio, television, or on social media.