Things That Matter

Border Patrol Shocks Again With News That A Mother And Her Premature Baby Were Kept In Cages At Texas Immigration Facility

It seems like week after week we get news of another heartbreaking situation from behind US immigration facilities. Deaths of migrant children or trans detainees, outbreaks of infectious diseases, lack of access to proper medical care.

Sadly, this week is no different as we learn about the truly inhumane conditions currently being faced by immigrants on the U.S.-Mexico border.

A premature baby and its teen mother were found severely neglected at a Texas immigration facility.

Credit: @RAICESTEXAS / Twitter

The 17-year-old girl from Guatemala was forced to have an emergency cesarean section in Mexico in early May. After the C-Section, the woman crossed the border with her baby on June 4. She told immigration lawyers who found her at a Border Patrol facility this week that people had carried her and her baby through the Rio Grande River, and that she had needed help getting into a Border Patrol car when they apprehended her.

Instead of taking the mother and premature baby to an intensive care unit or medical facility, Border Patrol took them to the McAllen processing facility.

According to the AP, they were held in an overcrowded McAllen processing facility that holds hundreds of parents and children in large, fenced-in areas and gained international attention last year when it detained children separated from their parents. Advocates describe them as cages and say they are extremely cold. The converted warehouse is the same location where a flu outbreak caused authorities to shut down the facility last month.

Only after lawyers for the mother went public with her story, did Border Patrol decide to transfer them to a private facility for proper care.

After the immigration lawyers went public with the conditions the mother and child were in—one told the Huffington Post that the mother had to sit in a wheelchair because of the pain from the C-section, that the baby was “weak and listless,” likely due to dropping body temperature, and that the child had not cried in five hours—Border Patrol suddenly decided on Thursday to transfer them to a private facility for underage immigrants.

People have taken to Twitter with reactions ranging from shock and disgust to horror and anger.

Credit: @fams2gether / Twitter

Disgust was the most common reaction across Twitter with this story and, like, why wouldn’t it be? A US government agency allowed a teen mother still in pain from an emergency c-section and her premature baby to be held in cages rather then give them proper medical care.

Other’s have come out accusing the Republican-led administration of absolute hypocrisy.

I mean it seems like over and over the party is enacting legislation to ban abortion on a so-called mission to protect innocent life. But that alleged compassion disappears if the child is already born – especially to an immigrant mother.

People are so outraged that even the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) had so step up and issue clear guidelines to avoid incidents like this in the future.

Credit: @kgbt / Twitter

It usually takes a miracle for the ORR to make any sort of positive change in favor of migrants, so this story definitely had a huge impact on people.

And it shows that if enough people speak out to help defend these migrants from such shockingly cruel conditions, change is possible.

While many pointed out on Twitter that they should of done the right thing for this mother and child from the very beginning.

Credit: @RAICESTEXAS / Twitter

There is strength is numbers and the next time news of a story like this one breaks, remember the change we made possible before. And speak up again!

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Racists Threatened To Call ICE On This Mexican Restaurant After They Kept Their Mask Rule

Things That Matter

Racists Threatened To Call ICE On This Mexican Restaurant After They Kept Their Mask Rule

Several states across the country (mostly governed by Republican leaders) have decided to repeal their mask mandates despite their own health officials urging against such moves.

Yes, the vaccine roll out has improved under the Biden administration – with nearly 2 million people getting vaccinated each day – but that is still not enough for the United States to reach herd immunity over night.

Now, thanks to these irresponsible moves by Republican governors, Americans are left to fend for themselves against anti-makers. In fact, a Mexican restaurant in Texas that decided to keep its mask mandate for diners is now facing racist attacks with people threatening to call ICE on its workers.

Texas Mexican restaurant is facing a backlash for sticking to its mask rules.

Houston’s Picos Restaurant, a small family-owned Mexican restaurant, is facing racist threatening comments after deciding to prioritize public health amid an ongoing pandemic. Several people sent hateful messages through social media and called the restaurant, threatening to report staffers to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

“It was just horrific,” co-owner Monica Richards told the Washington Post. “People don’t understand unless you’re in our business what it felt like, how hard it was to go through everything we went through during covid. For people to be negative toward us for trying to remain safe, so that this doesn’t continue to happen, just makes zero sense to us.”

Picos decided to maintain their mask mandate as the governor lifted the state-wide one.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott (R) rescind the statewide mask mandate despite the fact that a vast majority of his state’s residents remain vulnerable to COVID-19. The governor has ignored the advice of his own public health officials who say the state should wait on lifting these mandates until their is a greater incidence of vaccination in communities.

With Abbotts order, Texas will become the largest state in the nation to no longer require masks, which has not come easily for many businesses that are navigating enforcement mask rules to protect employees and customers while facing backlash.

Experts agree that masks are among the most effective way to curb the spread of COVID-19, but they’ve also become a partisan symbol. Masks have become so symbolic that one conservative group is set to hold a mask burning party the day the order is lifted, according to the Washington Post.

Picos hasn’t been the only restaurant facing such a backlash.

In fact, another Mexican restaurant in Houston, Cantina Bar, has been the victim of similar threatening messages, while several staff have been intimidated by screaming customers who refuse to wear masks even while it was required by a state order. Another Houston Mexican restaurant, Cantina Barba, received similar intimidating messages, and staff have been bullied by some screaming customers who refused to wear masks while it was required statewide, co-owner Steven O’Sullivan said.

“This has been ongoing through covid,” co-owner Steven O’Sullivan told the Post. “We’ve had threats of calling ICE. I had one guy just stand there and berate one of my bartenders and tell her ‘you’re an absolute idiot, you don’t know what you’re doing. If you think these masks are going to save your life, you’re stupid’ blah, blah, blah. Nobody wants to deal with that stuff.”

Another employee at a separate restaurant had to get stitches after he was hit in the head with a glass by a maskless customer he approached, Houston Police said. Hopefully, the governor will still encourage his constituents to do what’s right and continue to wear masks when asked to do.

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Biden Is Counting On Mexico’s President To Help With Immigration But That’s A Risky Move

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Biden Is Counting On Mexico’s President To Help With Immigration But That’s A Risky Move

One of the stranger things to happen during the Trump presidency was the unlikely alliance between Trump and Mexico’s President Andres Manuel López Obrador (AMLO). The former frequently spoke disparaging of Mexicans and pursued cruel and inhumane immigration policies that directly targeted the constituents of the latter. Yet AMLO was a major supporter of Trump’s most severe immigration policies and, in fact, helped bring them to fruition.

Now, with a new president in the White House, AMLO is being asked again to recalibrate his approach to immigration but having once been a major ally of Trump, how will he work alongside a President Biden?

Presidents Biden and AMLO host a virtual meeting to discuss a wide range of topics.

President Biden is hoping that Mexico’s President AMLO can help him avert another crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border. However, given AMLO’s close alliance with Trump and support of his harsh immigration policies, Biden may face an uphill battle.

But as the administration faces an uptick in migrants attempting to cross into the U.S., Biden is hoping that AMLO can become a partner in preventing another cycle of out-of-control migration from Central America. The Mexican president appeared open to collaboration, issuing a joint statement committing to address climate change, the pandemic and migration north.

Their first head to head meeting comes after a rocky start for the two leaders. Mexico’s President was one of the last leaders in the world to congratulate Biden on his election victory, with many saying AMLO fears a Biden administration as potentially more interested in pressuring Mexico on its own domestic matters.

President AMLO was a key player in Trump’s harsh and inhumane immigration tactics.

Despite his racist rhetoric directly targeting Mexicans and his cruel and hardline immigration policies that largely shifted the pressure to Mexico, AMLO largely accepted Trump’s worst policies with little resistance.

As migrant caravans formed in Central America and attempted to make their way to the U.S. passing through Mexico, AMLO unleashed his newly formed Guardia Nacional to stop them in their tracks. His agents arrested and deported thousands of migrants back to their home countries, often using tear gas and other extreme tactics to do so.

And President AMLO said nothing as Trump implemented the “Remain in Mexico” policy which forced thousands of refugees and asylum seekers to await their claims on the Mexican side of the border, amid a global health pandemic, shifting the burden to Mexican officials.

Biden looks to continue many of Trump’s policies.

Although Biden campaigned against Trump’s harsh immigration policies, the president wants many of the same things from AMLO that Trump asked for: help in keeping Central American migrants from immediately surging north toward the United States through Mexico. And although Biden declared he would break sharply with Trump on immigration, he’s only abandoned some of his predecessors policies.

The Biden administration has formed a task force to unite parents separated from their children Trump’s family separations policy. He’s also begun welcoming back a limited number of asylum seekers who were exposed to violence and kidnappings in dangerous areas of Mexico under a Trump-era program. But the Biden administration has kept in place a separate Trump policy that empowers agents to rapidly expel new arrivals at the border to Mexican authorities as Biden hopes to avoid a crisis that challenged his predecessors.

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