“President Obama separated children. They had child separation. I was the one who that changed it,” Trump said.
Facts First: As discussed in a previous fact check, this is false and requires context. Under Obama, children were separated from parents only when authorities had concerns for their well-being or could not confirm that the adult was in fact their legal guardian, but not as a blanket policy.
The family separation crisis was triggered last spring when Trump tweaked the status quo he inherited from Obama and ramped up strict enforcement of federal immigration laws that were already on the books.
Under past administrations, some border-crossers were occasionally prosecuted, and were thus separated from their families.
The main difference between Trump and Obama, experts have said, centers on how they handled immigrants caught near the US-Mexico border. Under Obama, the Justice Department was given broad discretion on who should face criminal charges, and federal prosecutors rarely went after families.