Things That Matter

Menstruating Girls Being Detained At The Border Are Being Denied Sanitary Napkins

Since the crisis at the border began, we’ve heard a lot of horror stories coming out of border detention centers. Among these stories, reports of basic hygiene products being denied to migrants have especially outraged us. The Trump administration had to be taken to court before it was decided that they would legally have to provide child detainees basics such as toothpaste and soap. Access to medication and healthcare has been limited, resulting in an epidemic of treatable illnesses throughout these camps. It has become obvious that part of the mission in detaining these humans is to treat them as inhumanely as possible.

Unfortunately, it seems that these stories are just the start of the cruel treatment these migrants are being inflicted with.

The newest reports from the border tell that detained girls are being denied the access they need to feminine hygiene products such as tampons and pads.

Twitter / @AuthorKimberly

A lawsuit that has been filed by 19 states reports that detained migrant girls are being given limited access to the supplies needed while menstruating. One of the girl’s interviews for the lawsuit claimed that they were only given one tampon or sanitary pad per day. If they bled through these products, the girls “had no choice but to continue to wear [their] soiled underwear.”

In the lawsuit, testimony from civil rights investigator, Alma Poletti, was included. Among her testimony, Poletti said one young woman who was having her period at the time was only allowed to shower after 10 days.

“She recalls there was another girl at the facility who was also on her period. They were each given one sanitary pad per day. Although the guards knew they had their periods, they were not offered showers or a change of clothes, even when the other girl visibly bled through her pants,” Poletti reported in the lawsuit. “This girl had no choice but to continue to wear her soiled underwear.”

Washington’s attorney general, Bob Ferguson, is among those behind the lawsuit that pushes for human treatment of these children and for their release to occur after no longer than 3 weeks of detention.

Twitter / @C_doc_911

Ferguson has compared the immigration policies of the current administration to “shameful chapters in American history — the internment of Japanese Americans, and the forced separation of Native American families.” He cited other atrocities as well such as the “lack of toothbrushes, soap or access to shower…extremely cramped cells, younger kids put in cages as punishment and guards throwing food on the ground for children to fight over.”

The current administration’s suggested policy is indefinite detention of these migrants and to ignore the Flores Agreement   a 1997 detention standard for children. According to the president, this new proposal is meant to deter migrants from attempting to come into the United States. However, using cruelty to deter migration is downright immoral and  — at this point illegal.

“Detaining families indefinitely and needlessly inflicting trauma on young children is not an immigration policy — it’s an abhorrent abuse of power,” Ferguson declared in response to the proposed policy. “The president’s actions and policies are cruel, inhumane and illegal.”

Ferguson isn’t the only one outraged and sickened by these claims. Twitter was just as disgusted by the reports coming from detention centers.

Twitter / @TracyGarland

Besides being a moral issue, this is a healthcare issue. As this Twitter user explains, forcing the girls to only use one tampon or sanitary pad per day could lead to TSS Toxic Shock Syndrome. Failure to change sanitary products can result in this dangerous condition and could lead to death. This is a potentially life-threatening act of negligence.

Some users online were outraged about the mental anguish being inflicted onto these girls.

Twitter / @JenLuvsAmbition

Menstruation can be an emotional part of a young girl’s life. Especially if they don’t have their mothers, grandmothers, aunts or other female family members to walk them through it. These girls are already in a vulnerable place and now they have to suffer extra embarrassment by being denied their rights to general hygienic items and bathing. No doubt, this will cause lifelong trauma that is completely avoidable.

This Twitter user compared the treatment of these young girls to those in the American prison system.

Twitter / @DRHBashur

The prison system imposes similar rules on menstruating women as these detention centers are now doing. We also have to consider the girls who have begun menstruating while in detention. How devastating that must be to experience this change without the right emotional support and without the needed supplies.

Since detention centers will not accept donations of any kind, we can only sympathize with these girls and hope that this lawsuit wins out in the end.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MFtOyWcvNJo

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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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