Things That Matter

‘I Don’t Want To Lose My Mommy’: A Migrant Child Cries For His Mother In Heartbreaking Video

It feels as though with every passing week, more and more images and cases of migrant children either undergoing traumatic experiences or being separated from their families rise to the surface, going viral on mainstream media. The latest heartwrenching video is one of a young migrant boy in tears, saying “I don’t want to lose my mommy” as he witnesses her being dragged under a rip current in the Rio Grande. 

*Warning: the video is graphic*

This week, a camera crew from Univision caught a heartbreaking moment in which a migrant boy can be seen frantically calling out for his mother while holding tight to his dad. 

“The child begs for [them] to save his mother while his father cries for help. [The mother] fights against the currents of the Río Bravo. This Venezuelan family, along with more than 100 migrant families, crossed the river after waiting over 5 months in Matamoros, Tamaulipas, waiting for asylum in the United States,” wrote journalist Jorge Ramos in a caption on Instagram

The Rio Grande, also known as Río Bravo del Norte, is one of the main rivers in the southwest United States and northern Mexico. It begins in south-central Colorado and flows through the Gulf of Mexico. It also forms part of the U.S.-Mexico border – totaling a length of over 1,000 miles that many will cross in order to get to the U.S. 

“Migrants have for years traversed the Rio Grande on makeshift rafts to cross illegally into the United States. But facing a surge of families from Central America, border-patrol agents are now pulling dozens of migrants, including young children, form the harsh current of the river almost every day,” writes Zolan Kanno-Youngs reporting from Texas for The Independent. “President Donald Trump’s repeated threats and attempts to limit immigration have not deterred migrants.”

On July 23, the Daily Mail reported: “At least 30 children and adults who evaded Mexican immigration forces in Matamoros, Tamaulipas, made it across the river that serves as a dangerous passageway to the American dream in the United States.”

The heartbreaking video shows the moment when a migrant boy tightens his group on his dad, frightened to see that his mother is getting swept away by a rip current on the Rio Grande. 

The young boy’s dad was also carrying his other son while the mother momentarily disappeared under the rushing waters.  

The migrant mother struggles to stay afloat as the father of her child tries to make the dangerous walk across the Rio Grande that separates Mexico from the U.S. The migrant mother and her family were all part of a group of migrants from Central America and Venezuela who had reportedly spent three to five months in Mexico waiting to seek asylum. 

According to the Daily Mail, the mother eventually made it to the U.S. shore in Texas after other migrants helped save her life. 

They formed a human chain and helped her sons make it to the U.S. shore too. 

“Her husband and other son later joined them after agents from U.S. Customs and Border Protection arrived on two rafts to assist them and other migrants,” the Daily Mail reports. “Another 110 refugees stood behind after their efforts to join them were thwarted by Mexican immigration agents patrolling the area.” 

This latest video of the father and his child trying to survive the Rio Grande rip currents while simultaneously seeking help for the mother isn’t new. 

This is just one more case of other migrant families who have nearly lost or lost their lives while seeking a better life in the United States. 

On June 24, the Texas Tribune reported that four bodies were found southeast of Anzalduas Park in the Las Palomas Wildlife Management Area, south of McAllen (three children, and one woman dead). The New York Times also took a deep dive into deaths on the Rio Grande, “a look at a perilous migrant route.” According to TIME, a search was underway earlier this month looking for a 2-year-old that was reported lost along the Rio Grande River by her mother after an attempt to cross near Del Rio, Texas. 

It’s heartbreaking to see so many migrant children in danger due to the policies that the Trump administration has put in place and continues to enact. 

Last month, a powerful and heartbreaking image depicting the body of Salvadoran migrant Oscar Alberto Martinez and his 2-year-old-daughter Valeria went viral showing us that migrant folks are putting their lives on the line simply to seek a better life in this country. 

While folks have criticized major publications and whoever else shares these images on social platforms including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram – others think it’s necessary to share these images to push people to do something to change these circumstances. 

Watch the full video below.

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9-Year-Old Migrant Girl Drowns While Trying to Cross the Rio Grande in the U.S.

Things That Matter

9-Year-Old Migrant Girl Drowns While Trying to Cross the Rio Grande in the U.S.

Photo via Getty Images

On March 20th, U.S. Border Patrol agents found a 9-year-old migrant girl unresponsive along with her mother and sibling on an island in the Rio Grande.

U.S. Border Patrol agents attempted to resuscitate the family. The agents were able to revive the mother and her younger, 3-year-old child. The Border Patrol agents transferred the 9-year-old migrant girl to emergency medics in emergency medics in Eagle Pass, Texas, but she remained unresponsive.

In the end, the 9-year-old migrant girl died–the cause of death being drowning.

The mother of the two children was Guatemalan while the two children were born in Mexico.

The death of the 9-year-old migrant girl is notable because this is the first migrant child death recorded in this current migration surge. And experts worry that it won’t be the last.

And while this is the first child death, it is not the only migrant who has died trying to make it across the border. On Wednesday, a Cuban man drowned while trying to swim across the border between Tijuana and San Diego. He was the second migrant to drown in just a two-week period.

Why is this happening?

According to some reports, the reason so many migrants are heading towards the U.S. right now is “because President Trump is gone”. They believe they have a better chance of claiming asylum in the U.S.

Another factor to take into consideration is that a large number of these migrants are unaccompanied minors. According to migrant services volunteer Ruben Garcia, Title 42 is actually having the opposite effect of its intent. President Trump enacted Title 42 to prevent immigration during COVID-19 for “safety reasons”.

“Families that have been expelled multiple times that are traveling with children,” Garcia told PBS News Hour. “Some of them are making the decision to send their children in by themselves, because they have families someplace in the U.S., and they know their children will be released to them.”

Is there a “border crisis”?

That depends on who you ask. According to some experts, the numbers of migrants heading to the U.S./Mexico border aren’t out-of-the-ordinary considering the time of year and the fact that COVID-19 made traveling last year virtually impossible.

According to Tom Wong of the University of California at San Diego’s U.S. Immigration Policy Center, there is no “border crisis”. “This year looks like the usual seasonal increase, plus migrants who would have come last year but could not,” Wong says.

As the Washington Post explained: “What we’re seeing right now is a predictable seasonal shift. When the numbers drop again in June and July, policymakers may be tempted to claim that their deterrence policies succeeded.”

What is the Biden Administration planning on doing about it?

As of now, it is pretty evident that the Biden Administration has not been handling this migrant surge well, despite ample warning from experts. As of now, President Biden has put Vice President Harris in charge of handling the issues at the border.

As of now, the game plan is still very vague. But in the past, the Biden Administration has stated that they plan to fix the migrant surge at the source. That means providing more aid to Central America in order to prevent further corruption of elected officials.

They also want to put in place a plan that processes children and minors as refugees in their own countries before they travel to the U.S. The government had not tested these plans and they may take years to implement. Here’s to hoping that these changes will prevent a case like the death of the 9-year-old migrant girl.

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Tate’s Cookies Threatened to Report Undocumented Workers to ICE If They Unionized

Culture

Tate’s Cookies Threatened to Report Undocumented Workers to ICE If They Unionized

Photo via chocolleto/Instagram

Fans of the crispy, buttery Tate’s cookies might be sad when they hear this news. According to current employees, the popular cookie business has been threatening employees who are trying to unionize.

According to multiple employees, Tate’s cookies threatened to contact ICE if workers vote to unionize next month.

According to Gothamist, most of Tate Bake Shop’s 432 employees are undocumented workers. But the National Labor Relations Act says that undocumented workers have a lawful right to unionize.

The powerhouse baked goods company Mondelēz International owns Tate’s cookies. Additionally, Mondelēz owns other popular brands like Oreo and Chips Ahoy. Local union leaders have called the company “anti-union on steroids”.

Once Tate’s cookies heard rumblings of their workers unionizing, however, they hired an anti-labor consultant. The consultant, Carlos Flores, brags on LinkedIn about keeping businesses “labor free”.

“They began threatening people based on their immigration status, telling them that if their documents are not in order and they attempted to join the labor union they would get deported,” said Eastern States’ Union president, Cosmo Lubrano.

The consultant allegedly told workers that he would review their documentation to see if “everything was in order”. If it wasn’t, he said ICE might “send them back”.

“Just because a worker wants to organize, wants to have representation doesn’t mean a company should make their life miserable,” said Julio, an undocumented worker, to The New York Times.

Tate’s cookies employees only began to discuss the possibility of unionizing when the pandemic hit. Workers felt that the cookie company might not protect them should they fall ill.

“We were in the heart of the pandemic at that time and they didn’t know any of the rules that applied to them,” said Anthony Miranti, an Eastern States’ union delegate.

“Will they get paid if they have to self-quarantine? How do they get safety equipment? They were telling us about how they’re all at minimum wage and needed more paid time off and there was just nobody to listen to their problems.”

Officially, Mondelēz denies all claims or threatening workers. They released a statement saying: “Any allegation that the company has violated any aspect of the National Labor Relations Act is untrue. Tate’s prides itself on treating all its employees with respect, and we have fostered over many years an inclusive, supportive, caring work environment and culture with our employees.”

Despite the threats to their livelihood, many workers still believe unionizing will ultimately be beneficial.

“I’ve spoken to a lot of people who work in union shops. They say things are better,” said an undocumented worker by the name of Catalina to the New York Times. “Why not give this an opportunity?”

As Miranti says, “I think the workers that produce these products should be able to put their heads down on their pillows at night and know their job is secured, that their family has the best coverage out there, that they’ll have a pension to retire on someday.”

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