The horrors unfolding along the southern border have by now shaken every American with a trace of conscience or empathy left to their core. Children are dying in detention camps after having been separated from their families by an administration hellbent on intimidating undocumented immigrants from entering the United States. It’s calculated cruelty aimed at appealing to the xenophobic wing of Trump’s party and it will prove to be a stain on our history that we cannot wash out.
The conditions are so horrendous that children are unable to sleep in these camps, caged with other children. Recently, a lawyer for the Trump administration actually stood up in front of a judge and argued that the government has not actually violated previously established standards for humane conditions when housing detained migrant children because being able to sleep is not a prerequisite for “sanitary conditions.” The sheer coldheartedness on display here should chill everyone to the bone.
The judge was stunned by some of the arguments the administration’s lawyer made.
“It’s within everybody’s common understanding: If you don’t have a toothbrush, if you don’t have soap, if you don’t have a blanket, it’s not safe and sanitary. Wouldn’t everybody agree to that? Do you agree to that?” asked Judge Wallace Tashima.
Trump’s surrogate failed to provide any kind of argument that would pass even the lowest bar of morality.
On top of those heartbreaking issues, there is rampant sexual abuse in these facilities. Victoria López and Sandra Park at the ACLU write that one ICE detention center is trying to argue that it is not responsible for when its employees abuse detainees. As proof of the scale of this problem they point to an article in The Intercept which found mass abuse:
“The reports obtained by The Intercept include 1,224 complaints filed between 2010 and September 2017, primarily about incidents that took place in ICE custody. But in earlier responses, officials with the DHS Office of Inspector General indicated that the office received some 33,000 complaints between 2010 and 2016 alleging a wide range of abuses in immigration detention. The OIG provided records documenting investigations for just 2 percent of the complaints it shared with The Intercept,” writes Alice Speri.
While these atrocities unfold, the contractors tasked with building and running these camps are making a fortune. In fact, a recent report by NBC News found that it costs more to keep children in these tent city compounds at $775 a night than it would to simply keep them with their parents. One Twitter user pointed out that for a few dollars less, these children could be safely housed in Trump International Hotel in D.C. As many have pointed out before, the cruelty is the point for this administration.
A cot in a tent city with a metal blanket, no toothpaste, no soap:
$775 per day.
A SUITE at the Trump International Hotel, DC:
$757 per day.
Someone is making a KILLING torturing children. pic.twitter.com/Gt8MYMjeJJ
— Mikel Jollett (@Mikel_Jollett) June 25, 2019
In the face of such staggering evil, it falls to every American to take action. The Boston Globe reports that employees at Wayfair, a furnishing company, are planning to walk out of their offices tomorrow to protest their company’s selling of furniture to the contractors and companies operating the detention camps.
A Twitter account called “wayfairwalkout” has sprung up to explain that the CEO of the company has ignored a petition signed by the company demanding Wayfair immediately cease its conducting of business with border camps, which then management refused.
The employees are now going to walk out of work and insist that all profits made from these deals be donated to the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services (RAICES). The organization is working tirelessly around the clock to reunite separated families and deserves our support.
tl;dr – Wayfair sold beds to furnish border camps; 547 employees signed a petition to ask that we cease all business with border camps; CEO said no —>employees are walking out tmrw at 1:30pm. We ask that Wayfair donate all profits made from the sale to RAICES #WayfairWalkout
— wayfairwalkout (@wayfairwalkout) June 25, 2019
While it remains to be seen how effective the walkout will prove, it’s a necessary step towards ending these heinous camps. They must be fought tooth and nail on every level until children stop dying and families stop being ripped asunder. You can take action too. Call your representatives and senators and demand they take action to help these people out and save them from Trump. History is watching.