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. 

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Is Going To Be A Guest Judge On The New Season Of ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’

Entertainment

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Is Going To Be A Guest Judge On The New Season Of ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’

@RuPaulsDragRace / Twitter / rupaulofficial / Instagram

The new season of “RuPaul’s Drag Race” will be here before you know it and finally know who the guest judges will be this year. RuPaul has a knack for bringing some of the best guest judges to the show. We finally know the new list of guest judges and one of them is none other than “RuPaul’s Drag Race” fan Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

The new season of “RuPaul’s Drag Race” is premiering on Feb. 28 and we finally know the guest judges.

We can also expect to see Chaka Khan, Daisy Ridley, Daniel Franzese, Jeff Goldblum, Jonathan Bennett, Leslie Jones, Nicki Minaj, Normani Kordei, Olivia Munn, Rachel Bloom, Robyn, Thandie Newton, Whoopi Goldberg, and Winnie Harlow to take their place at the judge’s table.

“RuPaul’s Drag Race” fan AOC is obviously thrilled to be on the show.

“RuPaul’s Drag Race” has been around for 12 seasons and the popularity of the show has never been higher. Drag has taken over mainstream pop culture and the excitement of AOC and “RuPaul’s Drag Race” fans is proof of the show’s power.

This isn’t the first time a member of the United States’ Congress appeared on the drag competition show.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi joined RuPaul in the workroom on All-Stars Season 3. Trixie Mattel went on to win that season but Pelosi’s visit to the workroom left the queens and audience members gagging. Pelosi, who was the Democratic leader of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives, shared her message about the importance of voting.

It’s a fitting time for AOC to be included as a guest judge on the show.

Credit: @AOC / Twitter

One year before AOC was sworn in as a member of Congress, she was celebrating Pelosi’s appearance. The then-candidate for Congress even offered to host a viewing party of an episode of All-Stars Season 3.

Wigs are still missing after the news broke on Twitter.

Credit: @gaywonk / Twitter

It was just a little unexpected. It is also so exciting to see politicians participating as guest judges on a drag competition show. It is more than just someone judging drag queens, it means more. It represents progress within our society that has created a safer and more accepting world for members of the LGBTQ+ community.

The season hasn’t even aired and there are already stans.

That’s the power of politics + drag. Drag is inherently political. Drag queen culture is a counter-culture that has pushed the envelope for the LGBTQ+ community. “RuPaul’s Drag Race” is expanding that tradition and responsibility and bringing drag into homes all over the world normalizing LGBTQ+ and drag culture.

Way to go, AOC.

Credit: @BocaOrganics / Twitter

Everyone who judges on “RuPaul’s Drag Race” brings the looks. AOC is no exception and her look is giving us every emotion. Get it, AOC.

READ: AOC Went To A Drag Show And It Is The Most Beautiful Moment Captured On Social Media

AOC Has A D.O.G And It’s Making Its Rounds About Capitol Hill

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AOC Has A D.O.G And It’s Making Its Rounds About Capitol Hill

Just when we thought Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D–N.Y.) couldn’t shake up the D.C. scene more than she already has, it turns out the congresswoman has a new trick up her sleeve.

Earlier this year in January, news surfaced that the congresswoman had adopted a French bulldog by the name of Deco. In a post to her Instagram page, the progressive Democrat welcomed the pup into the world with a post writing “Hey boo boo! Hi, welcome to our family.”

Now it turns out, AOC’s new pup is meant for the community, so you might have a chance to hang with him if you’re in his side of the hood

View image on Twitter

Responding to a question on Twitter about whether she intended to bring the dog to work, AOC said Deco is meant to be a dog about town.

“The goal is to train him to be a community pup,” she shared in a post that featured him taking a nap in her lap. “Ideally we want to work to the point where he can enjoy town halls, be an Amtrak pup, come to the office, etc. But first, naps.”

According to People.com, AOC’s new Frenchie had been nameless for a few weeks and the congresswoman eagerly collected name suggestions from her followers on twitter.

“He doesn’t have a name yet!,” Ocasio wrote in an Instagram in January. “We are thinking something Star Trek-related or Bronx/Queens/NYC/social good related.”

Ultimately Ocasio-Cortez did pick a name from suggested from her community.

“As we took [the dog] for a walk…a neighbor suggested we name him after an artist,” AOC explained in an Instagram story. Ultimately the congresswoman and her boyfriend Riley decided to not go for an artist’s name but one inspired by the early 20th-century art deco movement. “We loved the idea, and decided to name him after one of Riley & I’s favorite design styles: Art Deco — which also is inspired by themes of optimism & social and technological progress, and is a fixture in iconic NYC architecture,” she later explained said.

Turns out, AOC’s new French is rocketing to stardom just like his mother.

Earlier this week, Representative Ayanna Pressley (D–Mass.) shared a photo of herself hanging out with Deco for the very first time and used it as a chance to hype up AOC.

“Making the Capitol better one puppy snuggle at a time: @AOC & Deco,” Pressley tweeted in a post