Things That Matter

A Migrant Mother Details The Death of Her Daughter After ICE Detention In Emotional Testimony

Yazmin Juárez, a migrant woman who said she was fleeing an abusive situation at home in Guatemala, gave an emotional testimony in front of Congress on July 10. At a congressional hearing Wednesday, she spoke about the neglect and inhumane conditions that she and her 19-month-old daughter experienced at a detention facility which resulted in the death of her daughter weeks after being released from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). 

In a tearful testimony, Juárez spoke about the hopes and dreams she’d had for her daughter and wanted to pursue for her by coming to the U.S.

“We came to the United States, where I hoped to build a better and safer life for my daughter, Mariee. Sadly, I witnessed my daughter die. Slowly and very painfully,” Juárez said during the hearing before the House Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Civil Liberties. “A couple of months before her second birthday, she died.”  

The hearing comes as a response from the House committee looking into the treatment of migrant children at detention facilities on the U.S. border.

According to The Guardian, Juárez went on to say that it pained her to relive those moments as she testified. Still, the mother felt the need to do so, in order to let the rest of the world know the truth behind what’s happening in these cages and detention facilities where folks are being held. She and her daughter were being held at a family detention center in Dilley, Texas, in 2018. 

Juárez testified said her daughter began showing symptoms after entering the facility. The Guardian reports that her daughter “Mariee had a 104F fever and suffered from cough, congestion, diarrhea, and vomiting a week after entering Dilley.”

However, these symptoms were not mentioned by medical staff on discharge forms. And her daughter’s condition only worsened after their release from the detention center. Her mother recalled how she spent six weeks in hospitals before her condition worsened due to a collapsed lung from a respiratory infection last May. 

Juárez is now filing a wrongful death suit and seeking $60M from the federal government. 

After Juárez’s emotional hearing, she also received a moving and important response from Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez –– who has also been very vocal and open about how she believes the U.S. should rid itself of the entire Department of Homeland Security. “I feel like we are, at a very, it’s a very qualified and supported position, at least in terms of evidence, and in terms of being able to make the argument that we never should have created DHS in the early 2000s,” AOC said in an interview, according to CBS News

AOC was visibly moved by Juárez’s testimony about the wrongful death of her daughter Mariee.

“I want to start with a very important question,” AOC started her remarks. “First, United States law requires that children are kept in safe and sanitary conditions. You and your baby were here in detention conditions. In your opinion, were these conditions safe and sanitary?” To which Juárez ultimately answered, “no.” 

Juárez described the conditions she was held in CBP custody as “very cold” and they were kept in “a cage” and “forced to sleep on a concrete floor.”

AOC also asked Juárez if she had witnessed a culture of cruelty within detention facilities. Juárez told AOC that while in custody and while she was in “detention in the cages” she spoke to immigration and ICE officials over the phone to discuss why she was seeking asylum in the U.S. 

“I came [to the U.S.] to provide a better future for my daughter,” she says she told ICE. “But they didn’t let us speak, and [they] told me, in these words, ‘Do you know that this country is for Americans, our president is Donald Trump, and we can take your daughter away from you and lock you up in prison.'” 

AOC responded to Juárez –– but addressed the oversight committee chair, Elijah Cummings –– “What is being pointed to here is a culture of cruelty. To have a CBP officer tell a migrant woman escaping unspeakable horrors in her home country and tell them this country is for Americans and to threaten to separate her from her daughter, to threaten a human rights violation is extraordinarily concerning, and at a bare minimum grounds for serious investigation by this committee and other entities.” 

Wednesday’s hearing, titled “Kids in Cages: Inhumane Treatment at the Border,” comes during at a time of heightened criticism of the Trump administration and their treatment of migrant families at the border. 

The testimony comes as government and media reports of inhumane conditions at border detention facilities have sparked an outcry all over social media and beyond. On July 9, according to NBC News, a harrowing report of the treatment of migrant children at the hands of U.S. border agents was obtained, showing allegations of sexual assault and retaliation according to dozens of accounts by children held in an Arizona detention center. 

President Trump, however, has pushed back against these reports saying they are “unsubstantiated.”

The oversight committee chair present at Juárez’s testimony called the treatment of migrant children at facilities on the border “government-sponsored child abuse.” 

Mariee has been one of seven children to die while in ICE custody or shortly after being released. 

Ana Navarro And Meghan McCain Got Into A Screaming Match On National TV, And People Are Praising Every Second Of It

Things That Matter

Ana Navarro And Meghan McCain Got Into A Screaming Match On National TV, And People Are Praising Every Second Of It

Youtube

We love a good throw down in the name of reality TV. Drama is what makes TV worth watching — it’s like a real-life telenovela, and we don’t care if people on TV are doing it just for the ratings. We live for it. One of our favorite reality shows — which is technically not a reality show, but rather a talk show — is “The View.” Those ladies can fight about anything. In this political climate of us vs. them — a/k/a the Republicans vs. the Democrats — you will not get a better TV experience, while also getting informative perspectives, than “The View.” 

And today’s episode did not disappoint. 

This might not come as a surprise, but Ana Navarro And Meghan McCain literally yelled at each other on “The View” and left viewers gasping for air. 

Credit: YouTube

The two “View” co-anchors got into a fighting match while discussing the latest Donald Trump scandal. Navarro, who typically appears on “The View” on Fridays, was discussing the topic of a whistleblower who came forward to say that President Donald Trump had talks with leaders of Ukraine in secret. 

McCain attempted to make a point — which didn’t actually make any sense — that liberals didn’t like how Julian Assage released classified documents yet had issues with the whistleblower disclosing information about Trump and Ukraine.  

McCain tried to correct herself and inadvertently began interrupting Navarro while she was speaking.

Credit: YouTube

Once McCain realized that her point didn’t make sense, she tried to correct herself as Navarro was talking, and she really wanted to every one to hear her, which is why she began speaking very, very loudly. 

“Excuse me, maybe I was clumsy in the way that I said it,” McCain said rather forcefully. Then Navarro said, pretty calmly, “you don’t have to scream at me.”  

McCain said to Navarro, “I don’t know what you just said.” Navarro responded by saying, I said, don’t scream at me. I’m two feet away!”

Credit: YouTube

The audience was clearly in shock, and McCain said, “you know, that’s so rude, Ana.” They quickly cut to a commercial break, but the camera definitely caught McCain walking off the set. By the time the show returned, it was as if the whole thing never happened. It was so weird! They began to talk about another topic, and the two ladies behaved pretty chill toward each other. It almost reminded us of how we are during Thanksgiving dinner when one moment we are fighting with everyone and the next, we’re all good friends again. 

Even though the spat lasted two seconds, people on social media ate up the drama with a spoon.

We love a good fight, but that doesn’t mean they have to get physical. That would be the end of “The View”! 

You know we had to pick a side. 

We’re always rooting for our girl, Ana. Always!

Why did the segment get so heated in the first place?

These ladies can throwdown about anything, honestly. McCain has a thin skin because she always gets frustrated that enough people do not agree with her. 

The two women have gone head-to-head in the past, and we can see why they have more tension lately. 

McCain’s husband has made fun of Navarro on Twitter. What the heck?

We can always count on Navarro to piss her off. 

This is not the first time Navarro and McCain have not seen eye-to-eye on a topic; in fact, fighting is what they do best. We’re just a bit surprised at the tone that it got to today. 

McCain was clearly more pissed off at the fact that she messed up her point entirely.

McCain didn’t explain herself well in the first place, so we’re thinking her error plus the fact that everyone else was not seeing her point is what made her upset. Navarro has never backed down if she has felt disrespected.

McCain is going to have to toughen up if she wants to last on the show.

Lots of women have left “The View” because they’re tired of the bickering, so McCain better get a grip or she going to end up going back to Fox News. Girl, we are begging you DO NOT LEAVE “THE VIEW”! 

If McCain leaves, who will fight with Navarro or any of the other women?

Out of all the other Republican hosts on “The View” McCain is our favorite, so we are pleading. Stick it out, girl. It’s Friday, let’s get a drink and pretend like this never happened. 

Check out the whole exchange below, and get some popcorn too!

READ: Watch Ana Navarro Take Down Meghan McCain On ‘The View’ While Debating DACA

Some People Claim This Sandy Hook PSA Has Gone “Too Far” In Illustrating the Impact of School Shootings

Things That Matter

Some People Claim This Sandy Hook PSA Has Gone “Too Far” In Illustrating the Impact of School Shootings

We’ve come to the point in American history where deaths due to gun violence have become what many would call a crisis. According to data collected by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2017, guns were responsible for more deaths than car accidents were. So it comes to no surprise when certain activists take it upon themselves to bring attention to what many label an epidemic. On Wednesday, the Sandy Hook Promise Foundation, a non-profit organization founded with the goal of “protecting children from gun violence with programs that work”, did just that. The NPO released a short video, titled “Back-To-School-Essentials” that made waves through the internet.

The video begins exactly the way so many back-to-school commercials start: discussing the coolest new gadgets to buy for your kids this Fall.

Sandy Hook Promise / Youtube.com

A smiling boy pulls a backpack out of a locker, bragging that his mom got him the “perfect bag for back to school”. A young girl shows off the colorful binders that are “just what she needs to help her stay organized” for the school year. But things take an odd turn with the third student. As the student describes his headphones as “just what [he] needs for studying”, we can see that not all is quite right in the background. As the boy listens to his music, oblivious, we see students running in the behind him, appearing to be panicked.

As the commercial wears on, it becomes even eerier when students are speaking carefree to the camera while scenes of carnage unfold around them. The commercial wears on with each scenario becoming eerier: a girl uses her sweater to bar a door shut, keeping an active shooter out of the gymnasium. A different student uses her new socks as a tourniquet to keep a bleeding student alive. The video ends on a chilling note: a young girl hides in a bathroom stall, tears running down her face. The camera closes up on her as we hear an active shooter enter the bathroom. “I love you, Mom,” she types into her phone.

The video ends with a simple title-card over a black screen: “School shooting is preventable when you know the signs.”

Sandy Hook Promise / Youtube.com

The PSA then directs the viewer to find out more about the organization at sandyhookpromise.org. According to Sandy Hook Promise’s About page, the “above-the-politics” organization is made up of “several family members whose loved ones were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14, 2012”. Their mission is to “honor all victims of gun violence by turning our tragedy into a moment of transformation”. Their main action-items are to target mental health programs to individuals who are “at-risk” at engaging in gun violence and by advocating for policy changes in order to prevent school shootings. 

As of now, the video has racked up over 1 million views on YouTube in under 24 hours.

The virality of the PSA is likely due to its execution: we’re all used to seeing vacuous back-to-school commercials whose sole intentions are to sell us something. “Back-To-School Essentials” lulls us into a sense of comfort with its upbeat music before jerking us into the current violent reality of school-aged students’ lives. According to the Gun Violence Archive, which tracks every mass shooting in the country, the US has had 283 mass shootings since September 1st of 2019. 

The video isn’t without controversy–some Twitter users are disturbed by how close to home the video’s scenarios are.

In fact, many viewers are finding the PSA hard to watch. On Twitter, users are complaining of tearing up after watching the video. Some even claim to “feeling sick” by the video’s contents. 

In response, some Twitter users are glad of the reality-check the PSA is providing:

It’s evident that making their audience uncomfortable from watching the video was one of the organization’s goals. That way, it makes it harder to ignore the reality of school shootings and their impact on children’s lives.

This woman explained how the video hit a little too close to home:

It seems we’ve come to the point in our culture where we feel we need to buy phones for our children in the event that they experience a school shooting. 

This Twitter user applauded the Sandy Hook Promise Organization’s bravery in committing to their message:

Sometimes the only way to get your point across is to explain, in the starkest terms possible, how dire the situation is. This video managed to convey that in a powerful way.

This Latina was effected by the PSA on a visceral level:

Reactions like this prove that public service announcements, when done right, can achieve exactly what they set out to achieve.

Simply from the Twitter reaction, it’s clear that this video has touched a lot of people.

To learn more about Sandy Hook Promise and its mission to prevent gun violence, visit www.sandyhookpromise.org.