Things That Matter

Meghan McCain Has A Real Problem With People Referring To Detention Centers Where Children Are Deprived Water Torture Facilities

Just last week, Doctor Dolly Lucio Sevier toured a Border Patrol processing center and concluded that the conditions were comparable to “torture facilities.” At a center known as Ursula in McAllen, Texas, Dr. Sevier found nursing mothers receiving less than half the minimum amount of water required for a healthy family. Mothers were only receiving 1.5 liters of water a day and told her they would drink more if they had access.

Meanwhile, ABC’s “The View” co-host Meghan McCain is invoking the name of her late father, John McCain, who was a prisoner of war, to squash the credibility of Dr. Sevier’s claims.

Dr. Sevier is set to file a temporary restraining order against the federal government on the basis of her findings.

@YesYoureRacist / Twitter

In her report, she writes that the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is “endangering the health of these infants” by offering “breastfeeding mothers less than adequate supplies of fluids and nutrition.”

A series of reports by lawyers and physicians across the country are contributing to the restraining order.

@LAist / Twitter

We all remember the Clint, Texas Border Patrol report detailing how children were taking care of infants and toddlers, and all of whom were being denied access to soap and toothbrushes.

Two-thirds of the children Dr. Sevier examined had respiratory infections.

@LakotaMan1 / Twitter

The motion will call for an emergency order to force the government to be in compliance with existing laws mandating the basic health and safety of asylum seekers, specifically children. Meanwhile, children are losing weight while being detained in the facilities.

In the decade before Trump, no immigrant children have died in federal custody. So far, seven children have died.

@svqjournalist / Twitter

The attorney working on the motion has directly blamed the conditions at CBP facilities for the deaths of these children. “These deaths may have been prevented had CBP substantially complied with the terms of the Flores Settlement and promptly transferred children out of its custody,” he said.

During an opening segment on ABC’s “The View,” Meghan McCain got angry with the doctor’s claims.

ABC

What started out as a segment discussing the deaths of children at the facilities, with no mention of the phrase “torture facility,” McCain interjected. She described the term as “hyperbole,” invoking her late father’s experience during the Vietnam War.

Co-host Sunny Hostin blamed a “lack of empathy” from the administration for the horrific treatment of children.

ABC

McCain called on her experience of growing up with a father with injuries from torture and the experience of visiting a torture facility to dismiss the doctor’s claims.

“When you have a facility whose specific purpose is to torture people, that is not what’s going on,” McCain shouted. “Yes, it’s inhumane but there’s a big difference between a Hanoi Hilton and what’s happening at the border right now!”

Hostin, exasperated, said “I don’t care what we’re calling them. Kids are dying inside of them.”

ABC

“We should care about the dead kids that have come out of them,” Hostin emphasized. McCain’s play was right in line with the GOP response: get more worked up about the labels rather than what’s going on inside the detention centers.

“Well, my father couldn’t lift me above his head as a child because of his torture wounds, so I do think that hyperbole is important.”

ABC

McCain did not offer any call to action or a solution for the crisis in detention centers, ICE facilities, concentration camps or torture facilities. Hyperbole was the most important topic of discussion for McCain that day.

Meanwhile, descendants of Holocaust survivors are crowding outside a New Jersey detention centers to protest ICE.

@jr3wx / Twitter

A fellow protestor shared her friend’s story in a single, powerful caption, “So many grandchildren of Holocaust survivors are here blocking the road to the Elizabeth Detention Center. My friends who exist because their family escaped concentration camps know that this ICE facility is a concentration camp. Shut it down! #NeverAgain for anyone!”

Protests are expected across the country demanding a shutdown of all concentration camps in America.

@JamilSmith / Twitter

Just hours ago, hundreds of activists, dozens of which were with the Jewish Advocacy organization Never Again Action, were arrested outside an ICE facility in New Jersey. Their crime was protesting outside an ICE facility calling for an end to ICE raids, deportations, and immigrant prisons.

READ: Historians And AOC Agree That Detention Centers Look Like Concentration Camps But Conservatives Don’t Want To Hear It

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Nearly 9,000 Unaccompanied Child Migrants Have Been Expelled From the U.S. Under Trump’s COVID-19 Restrictions

Things That Matter

Nearly 9,000 Unaccompanied Child Migrants Have Been Expelled From the U.S. Under Trump’s COVID-19 Restrictions

On Friday, previously undisclosed court documents revealed that almost 9,000 unaccompanied migrant children seeking refuge were denied access to the U.S. and subsequently expelled from U.S. soil. None of these children were given a chance in court.

According to reporting done by CBS News, U.S. Department of Homeland Security officials have “suspended humanitarian protections” for most migrants crossing the border, on the grounds that “public health law overrides asylum, immigration and anti-trafficking safeguards” in the era of COVID-19.

CBS news made the shocking discovery when investigating the problematic and increased practice of holding and detaining minors in unregulated, privately contracted hotel rooms.

The government is arguing that the practice is keeping the American public safe from possibly COVID-19 exposure from unauthorized migrants.

“What we’re trying to do…is remove all individuals, regardless of whether they’re children — minors — or they’re adults,” Customs and Border Patrol official Mark Morgan said in an August media briefing.

He continued: “We’re trying to remove [the migrants] as fast as we can, to not put them in our congregate settings, to not put them into our system, to not have them remain in the United States for a long period of time, therefore increasing the exposure risk of everybody they come in contact with.”

via Getty Images

But critics are claiming that the Trump Administration is using COVID-19 as an excuse to unlawfully expel as many migrants as possible–regardless of their age.

On Friday, federal Judge Dolly M. Gee ordered the administration to put an end to the practice of detaining children in hotel rooms, saying that hotels do not “adequately account for the vulnerability of unaccompanied minors in detention”. She asked the government to put an end to the practice by September 15th.

It is in the court documents regarding the above case that 8,800 expelled migrant children number was revealed.

“The numbers are stunning,” said executive director of the Immigrant Defenders Law Center, Lindsay Toczylowski, to CBS News. “…To find out that our government has literally taken children who are seeking protection and sent them back to the very places they fled in such high numbers really took my breath away.”

via Getty Images

US Border Patrol Deputy Chief Raul Ortiz has defended the unsafe hotel detainment and speedy expulsion of migrant children, saying that stopping the practice would increase risk of exposure to health and customs officials alike.

But even if the practice comes to an end, the staggering number of unaccompanied migrant and refugee children left to their own devices is sitting heavy on the soul of advocates and activists.

“It’s just completely contrary, not only to all child protection norms and standards, but also just completely contrary to our values as a nation around protecting the most vulnerable,” said vice president for international programs at Kids in Need of Defense Lisa Frydman to CNN. “Because we are just wholesale shipping them out without making sure that it’s safe for them to go.”

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Court Orders ICE To Release Children In Their Custody As COVID-19 Tears Through Detention Centers

Things That Matter

Court Orders ICE To Release Children In Their Custody As COVID-19 Tears Through Detention Centers

Joe Raedle / Getty Images

COVID-19 is spiking across the U.S. with 32 states watching as new cases of the virus continue to climb day after day. California, Arizona, Texas, and Florida are among states that have set daily new infection records. With this backdrop, a federal judge has ruled that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) must release children, with their parents, by July 17.

A judge ordered Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to release children in detention by a certain date.

U.S. Judge Dolly Gee ordered ICE to act quickly in response to the rampant COVID-19 spread in detention centers to protect the health of migrants. Judge Gee is giving ICE until July 17 to comply and release all children that have been in the agency’s custody.

U.S. Judge Gee ruled that the threat of the pandemic is great where the children are being held.

“Given the severity of the outbreak in the counties in which FRCs are located and the Independent Monitor and Dr. Wise’s observations of non-compliance or spotty compliance with masking and social distancing rules, renewed and more vigorous efforts must be undertaken to transfer (children) residing at the FRCs to non-congregate settings,” Judge Gee wrote in her order.

Concerned politicians and public figures are celebrating the judge’s order.

The order is aimed specifically at the Family Residential Centers (FRCs) and Office of Refugee Resettlement camps across the country. The virus has been running rampant in detention centers and prisons and, according to the judge, unsurprisingly the virus has made it to the FRCs.

She continued: “The FRCs are ‘on fire’ and there is no more time for half measures.”

National leaders are calling on ICE to follow the ruling by a federal judge.

The judge’s order is aimed at the three FRCs in the U.S. Two are in Texas and one is in Pennsylvania. Unaccompanied minors in various shelters are also included in the order.

“Although progress has been made, the Court is not surprised that [COVID-19] has arrived at both the [Family Residential Centers] and [Office of Refugee Resettlement] facilities, as health professionals have warned all along,” Judge Gee wrote.

This story is developing and we will update as new information arises.

READ: After COVID-19 Shut Down Flights, A Man Sailed Across The Atlantic Ocean All So That He Could See His Dad

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