Take action for migrant children, adults, and families

"I started taking care of xx (age 5) in the Ice Box after they separated her from her father. I did not know either of them before that. She was very upset. The workers did nothing to try to comfort her. I tried to comfort her and she has been with me ever since. XX sleeps on a mat with me on the concrete floor. We spend all day every day in that room. There are no activities, only crying."     (Age 15, female)
The immigrant detention crisis is deepening by the day.

Children in migrant detention camps describe their situation as dire. In speaking to attorneys, they say:
  • "I'm so hungry that I have woken up in the night with hunger." - 12 year old boy
  • "We are in a metal cage with 20 other teenagers with babies and young children.... It is very cold." - 16 year old girl
  • "The immigration agents separated me from my father right away. I was very frightened and scared. I cried. I have not seen my father again." - 5 year old boy

Last week, the Department of Homeland Security's Inspector General released a Management Alert titled: "DHS Needs to Address Dangerous Overcrowding and Prolonged Detention of Children and Adults in the Rio Grande Valley." It notes "urgent issues that require immediate attention," including serious overcrowding, standing room only conditions (where some adults have been held for over a week),

Of the 8,000 detainees in custody, 3,400 has been there for more than 72 hours, which is the general amount of time recommended for people to be held. 1,500 had been held for more than 10 days. 826 children were among those held for over 72 hours. More than 50 unaccompanied children under 7 were held, with some in custody for over two weeks.

The United Nation's High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, condemned the conditions at these camps on July 8. The UN human rights office/s team has documented "numerous rights violations and abuses against migrants on the move, including the excessive use of force and family separation."

We need to take action to stop these practices.


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