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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Biden Administration Says Number Of Kids In Border Custody Drops 84% Over Last Month

Things That Matter

Biden Administration Says Number Of Kids In Border Custody Drops 84% Over Last Month

As recently as last month more than 5,000 children languished in jail-like conditions inside U.S. Border Patrol facilities, often for longer than the 72-hour limit set by federal law. But, according to the Biden administration, that number has dropped by 84% as the agencies charged with migrant detention make significant progress.

Questions remain, however, about where these children are being sent to instead and why there remains a need for jail-like conditions in the first place.

The number of kids in jail-like Border Patrol facilities drops 84% compared to March.

The number of unaccompanied migrant children held in jail-like conditions by US Customs and Border Protection dropped nearly 84% in the span of a month, according to a White House official. As of last Wednesday, there were 954 children in CBP facilities, down from a peak of 5,767 on March 28, the official told CNN.

The average time that kids are in CBP custody is now 28 hours, compared to 133 hours on March 28, the official said, a nearly 80% reduction in time spent in Border Patrol detention.

In an interview with NBC News this week, Biden suggested that the situation with unaccompanied children is now under control, saying, “It’s way down now. We’ve now gotten control,” and touted “significant change in the circumstances for children to and at the border.”

In recent weeks, the Department of Health and Human Services, which is responsible for the care of migrant children, has opened up a string of temporary shelters to accommodate minors. That’s allowed for an increasing number of children being transferred out of border facilities to spaces equipped to care for them at a quicker pace.

The drop in children in custody is a welcome sign given the conditions they faced.

In some cases, children were alternating schedules to make space for one another in confined facilities and taking turns showering, often going days without one, while others hadn’t seen the sunlight in days.

While the administration works to address root causes of migration, it’s also had to contend with growing numbers of children in government custody. As of April 27, there were more than 22,276 children in HHS care, according to government data.

Biden on NBC again warned Central American parents against sending children to the US.”Do not send your kids, period. They’re most — they’re in jeopardy going– making that thousand-mile trek,” Biden said. “And so what we’re doing now is we’re going back to those countries in question where most of it’s coming from and saying, ‘Look, you can apply from your country. You don’t have to make this trek.”

The shift in strategy comes as a new poll shows Americans overwhelmingly support new immigration policy.

A vast majority of Americans approve of the idea of engaging countries abroad to address the causes of migration before it happens, according to a new nationwide poll released Thursday.

Pollster Civiqs found that 85 percent of survey respondents agreed that the United States needs to engage with other countries to address migration patterns.

On a partisan basis, 86 percent of Democrats and 87 percent of Republicans, as well as 81 percent of independents, agree with that approach, according to Civiqs, which conducted the poll for Immigration Hub, a progressive immigration advocacy group.

The poll found that 57 percent of Americans accept illegal immigration when the immigrants are fleeing violence in their home countries.

That support is lower for undocumented immigrants who come for other reasons; 46 percent agree with immigrants arriving illegally to escape poverty or hunger, while 36 percent do if the migrants are seeking to reunite with family members, and 31 percent do if the migrants are looking for jobs in the United States.

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New Children’s Book ‘Escucha Mi Voz’ Tells the Stories of Migrant Children In Their Own Words

Culture

New Children’s Book ‘Escucha Mi Voz’ Tells the Stories of Migrant Children In Their Own Words

Courtesy Workman Publishing

Have you ever wondered what’s going on in the hearts and minds of migrant children? Are they afraid, sad? What circumstances at home forced them and their families to leave everything they’ve known behind and search for a new life in a strange land? Well, you wouldn’t be alone. A new book called “Escucha Mi Voz” is exploring those difficult questions.

Law professor and children’s rights advocate Warren Binford interviewed dozens of migrant children when visited a migrant facility in Clint, Texas in 2019.

While she was there, Binford witnessed the shocking and inhumane conditions migrants—and especially migrant children—are forced to live in. She decided to record their stories for the world to hear.

Binford compiled the harrowing stories in a picture book called “Escucha mi Voz/Hear My Voice”. Binford says she was inspired to create this project because of how difficult it was to relay these children’s stories to adult audiences. The book comes in both English and Spanish-language versions.

“People were so depressed. They would call me and say, ‘I can’t do it. I bawl my eyes out. It’s too much,'” Binford told NPR. “And so then it was like, ‘OK. How do we help people to access this knowledge that the children have given us in the children’s own words?’ “

“Escucha Mi Voz” features illustrations from 17 Latino artists, all interpreting the words of these migrant children in art form. 

“Having these really fabulous artists come together and illustrate the book helps to create a more accessible point of entry into these children’s lives, and who they are, and why they came to the United States,” Binford said.

“Escucha Mi Voz” features stories from migrant children who range in age from 4 to 17. They come from El Salvador, Honduras, Mexico, Guatemala, and Ecuador. But they all have one thing in common: they’ve experienced the trauma of displacement.

“We were kept in a cage. It is very crowded,” said one child. “There is no room to move without stepping over others. There’s not even enough room for the baby to crawl.”

“One of the guards came in yesterday afternoon and asked us how many stripes were on the flag of the United States,” said another. “We tried to guess, but when we were wrong, he slammed the door.”

Binford hopes that transforming these children’s stories into picture book-form will make their plight more accessible and relatable to American audiences.

“I hope families will actually have enough energy at the end of reading the book that they’re like, ‘What can we do?’ And, you know, ‘We’ll write to political leaders, maybe volunteer to be a sponsor or maybe volunteer to be a foster family.’ “

All proceeds of “Escucha Mi Voz” go directly to Project Amplify, an organization dedicated to “raising awareness for the plight of child migrants”. Buy your copy now through their website or Amazon.

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