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. 

After Racist Chants At A Trump Rally Directed At Rep. Omar, Cardi B Has Come Out Supporting The Congresswoman

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After Racist Chants At A Trump Rally Directed At Rep. Omar, Cardi B Has Come Out Supporting The Congresswoman

@ilhanmn Instagram / Presley Ann / Stringer Getty Images

As President Trump continues to lead a national racist attack on progressive Rep. Ilhan Omar, Cardi B showed her support for the Minnesota congresswoman with a simple Instagram post.

Within hours, #IStandWithIlhan was trending on Twitter, with public figures and fellow politicians weighing in.

Cardi B was one of the very first people to show her support for Omar.

In typical badass fashion, the “Press” singer quoted Beyonce when posting in support of Omar on Instagram, sharing a photo and writing, “You know you that b**** when you cause all this conversation.”

This is not the first time this week Cardi B, born Belcalis Almánzar, has weighed in on politics. The Bronx-born rapper tweeted Tuesday that she was “really sad” that Democratic voters “let down” Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) during the 2016 presidential primary.

She wrote that the senator has “been fighting for equal rights, HUMAN rights for such along time.”

“Seeing this country become a better place been really his passion for a long time not a new front for a campaign,” she added.

Cardi B’s appreciation post comes after a disgusting rally where Trump continued with his racist rhetoric.

Credit: @AlmaNiqabae / Twitter

Trump held a “Make America Great Again” rally in Greeneville, North Carolina. During the rally, Trump continued to rant against Omar, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ayanna Pressly and Rashia Tlaib, who have become known as “the squad.”

“Let ’em leave… they’re always telling us how to run it, how to do this, how to do that. You know what? If they don’t love it, tell ’em to leave it,” Trump said of the congresswomen.

Although Trump spent time going after each woman individually, only his attack on Omar elicited an offensive chant from the crowd.

“Omar smeared U.S. service members in ‘Black Hawk Down.’ She slandered the brave Americans trying to keep peace in Somalia,” Trump said of Omar.

Trump paused his speech to let the chant continue.

The president also claimed Omar blamed America for the economic crisis in Venezuela and she refused to condemn Al Qaeda. As the president ripped into Omar, people in the crowd began chanting “send her back” in the same way that they chanted “lock her up” during his campaign against Hillary Clinton.

After, Omar responded to the chants at the rally by tweeting, “I am where I belong, at the people’s house and you’re just gonna have to deal!” along with a photo of her on the House floor.

Cardi B fans have been stanning extra hard after her post.

Credit: @yashar / Twitter

To see this strong woman of color come to defend one of Trump’s most vocal opponents sent me any people into a frenzy. Her tweet was simple yet totally summed up what so many of us are thinking and feeling.

I mean she quoted the Queen Bey in her post. Like OMG.

That is some mad stanning right there. Quoting Beyonce lyrics to support a woman of color suffering racist attacks from the President of the United States and his supporters…it doesn’t get more powerful than that.

Cardi B’s favored presidential candidate always weighed in on Trump’s remarks about Omar.

Credit: @SenSanders / Twitter

Cardi B has been pretty vocal about her support of Bernie Sanders for president. She recently said about Bernie, “Seeing this country become a better place been really his passion for a long time not a new front for a campaign.”

READ: Cardi B Stands Behind Bernie Sanders Because Of His Desire To Fight For All People And Their Rights

Can Someone Please Tell This Racist Woman Having A Meltdown And Screaming At A Boricua How U.S. History Works?

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Can Someone Please Tell This Racist Woman Having A Meltdown And Screaming At A Boricua How U.S. History Works?

Before Trump was president, many opponents of the man swore that electing a person with a history of racist behavior would encourage closeted bigots to be more vocal with their hate. This claim has proved to be true basically time and time again in the years since he was elected on nearly a weekly basis. Attacks on Muslim and Latinx people have been sanctioned by government policies but we have also seen disturbingly bigoted behavior from average citizens. Hate crimes have skyrocketed since 2016 and viral videos of racist attacks and abuse are commonplace on the internet.

The latest act of xenophobia comes from Trump’s July Twitter tantrum against Representative Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez and her fellow freshmen congresswomen. In it, the president insisted that those who don’t like how America currently works should just leave. It’s a command most Black and brown people have heard at least once in their lives and it again invites undercover racists to be bold enough to let their hatred for minorities show. 

One of the latest examples of the freedom racists feel is a video coming out of Abington, Pennsylvania that shows a white woman accosting a Puerto Rican woman at a grocery store. 

Twitter / @jftaveria1993

On June 30th, 2019, Johanny Santana was standing in line at the grocery store when a child came into the line to ask his grandfather a question. The child and grandfather spoke Spanish to each other and this caused a white woman who was also in line to cuss at the boy. Hearing this, Santana started recording with her phone to capture any further encounters. The boy left and came back, only to have another woman object. This is when Santana stepped in and changed the focus to her. 

In a video posted to Facebook, Santana asks the other woman if she had a problem with the individuals speaking Spanish after the white woman loudly complains, “Any century now.” The White woman then told Santana, “Can you stop talking to me? You’re a p*ta.” After Santana told the woman not to say that word, she responded again, repeating, “You’re a p*ta.”

It’s then that the altercation turned overtly racist. 

Twitter / @CasaDeDre

The woman launched into a bigoted diatribe aimed at Santana. In the video, she can be heard saying: 

“You shouldn’t be in this country. I hope Trump deports you. I was born here, you don’t belong here, go back to your own country. You don’t belong here, you came here illegally. You should be deported.” 

The unidentified white woman then accused Santana of using “drug money” to buy her groceries. In the video, she is seen flashing cash at the Boricua and telling her that her money was legal, unlike what Santana was using. 

In the video, Santana can be heard retaliating with her own insults.

Credit: @Prohillarynyc / Twitter

In response to her own words, Santana told NBC News that she felt ashamed and powerless.

“I regret it because I didn’t want to tell her that. I felt powerless because I didn’t speak English well enough to be able to properly respond to her.”  

The community that Santana lives in only has a population of 55,310 according to the 2010 Census. Of that population, almost 80% is white and only 3% of residents are Latinx. According to the Pew Research Center, Puerto Ricans are the second-largest Latinx group in the United States. Since Puerto Rico is a United States territory, citizens of the island — including Santana — are also US citizens. Still, even if they weren’t, this attack would remain grossly racist. 

Twitter reacted with outrage in response to yet another recorded attack on people of color by racists. 

Twitter / @sahluwal

Twitter users were quick to share the video thousands of times online. Many pointed out how ridiculous the woman was and how quick she was to jump into racists insults — as if she had them queued up and ready to rip. Others called on the social media site to do its thing and expose the woman pictured in the video. She is still unidentified as of now but one thing remains clear: There are far more people who feel this way in our nation than most are willing to admit. Until racists are exposed and called out in every community, racism will continue to be an ugly part of American life. 

Watch the video below!

READ: Two Women In Montana Were Approached By A Border Patrol Agent While At A Gas Station For Speaking Spanish

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