Things That Matter

A Honduran Teens Says An Officer Groped Her Breast And Touched Her Between Her Legs In Front Of Officers

Migrant children held in Yuma, Arizona are accusing U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents of sexual assault and retaliation for protests, according to dozens of accounts by children collected by government case managers reports NBC News

The accounts obtained by NBC News detail a 15-year-old girl from Honduras who describes an officer putting his hands inside her bra, pulling down her underwear and groping her as part of what was supposed to be a routine pat-down. 

She recounts that it was done in front of other immigrants and officers. The young girl said “she felt embarrassed as the officer was speaking in English to other officers and laughing” during the entire process. 

The latest details to surface about the inhumane and despicable mistreatment of migrant children in detention facilities aren’t –– unfortunately –– anything out of the ordinary. 

For example, last month nearly 300 migrant children were removed from a border facility in Texas after reports of lawyers describing “appalling” and potentially dangerous conditions surfaced, according to NBC News. In El Paso and the Rio Grande Valley in Texas, horrific conditions were detailed where children and other migrants were being held in overcrowded border stations where they were not given showers, the appropriate space to sleep or a clean change of clothes. 

Now, with the recent sexual assault allegations made against U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents in Arizona –– the abuse and barbaric treatment of migrant children has extended beyond Texas. About 30 of the statements collected from the children, and obtained by NBC News, “include allegations of sexual assault and retaliation for protests.” 

A 17-year-old boy from Honduras said that CBP agents would reprimand other detained children when they would get too close to a window. He said they would sometimes call them “puto” –– and other derogatory terms in Spanish –– while giving orders. 

Another 16-year-old Guatemalan boy held in Yuma, Arizona said he and others in his cell raised concerns about the taste of the water and food they were being fed. As a form of retaliation, CBP agents took the mats out of their cell and forced them to sleep on the hard concrete floor. 

And still, the Trump administration, as well as U.S. Customs and Border Protection, are attempting to deny the allegations made by migrant children. 

For example, President Trump tweeted, “The Fake News Media, in particular, the failing @nytimes is writing phony and exaggerated accounts of the Border Detention Centers. First of all, people should not be entering our Country illegally, only for us to then have to care for them. We should be allowed to focus on United States citizen first.”

In a series of tweets, he went on to defend U.S. Customs and Border Protection saying they “have been doing a great job” and that “the Fake News & the Dems” are manufacturing this crisis of inhumane treatment at immigration detention facilities along the U.S. border. 

“U.S. Customs and Border Protection treats those in our custody with dignity and respect and provides multiple avenues to report any allegations of misconduct,” a CBP spokesperson told NBC News in response to the Yuma allegations. “The allegations do not align with common practice at our facilities and will be fully investigated. It’s important to note that the allegation of sexual assault is already under investigation by the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General.” 

The acting director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Ken Cuccinelli, said July 10 that the allegations are currently under investigation, “this isn’t just one review, it will be multiple reviews.” 

On MSNBC, he also said, “anyone involved in sexual assault or physical harassment like that I would, of course, expect to be fired, not merely disciplined.” 

These allegations (first reported by NBC News) against CBP from young migrant children in Yuma, Arizona, include documents that case managers for the Department of Health and Human Services (the department responsible for migrant children after they leave CBP custody) prepared sometime between April 10 and June 12. 

Further, according to accounts obtained by NBC, migrant children reported going to bed hungry “because dinner was usually served sometime after 9 p.m. and by that time she was already asleep.” 

The children who gave the accounts to case managers about the mistreatment and also sexual assault allegations that happened in Yuma, Arizona had been held that the border station longer than the 72 hours permitted by law. 

“Other children described being scared of the officers and said the officers would get angry if they asked for anything. One child wore soiled underwear for the 10 days he was in the border station because he was afraid to ask the officers for a clean pair, according to one of the reports. Another, a 15-year-old girl from Guatemala, described the food as ‘gross and cold most of the time,'” reports Jacob Soboroff and Julia Ainsley from NBC News

According to the reports, nearly every child that was interviewed by a Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) caseworker after leaving Yuma detention center reported poor sleeping conditions. The children said they weren’t given a mattress, a pillow, or a blanket to sleep with. Most were simply given a Mylar blanket instead.

Advocacy attorney for the organization Florence Immigrant & Refugee Rights Project, Laura Belous, which provides legal services to migrant children, told NBC News that she was “horrified and sickened by the allegations of abuse… but unfortunately, we are not surprised.” 

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Radical Feminists Have Seized Control of a Federal Building in Mexico in Protest of the Government’s Apathy Towards Rampant Femicide

Entertainment

Radical Feminists Have Seized Control of a Federal Building in Mexico in Protest of the Government’s Apathy Towards Rampant Femicide

Last week, Mexican feminist activists took over the National Human Rights Commissions federal building in a move to bring greater awareness to the scourge of gender-based violence and femicide that has racked Mexico for decades.

According to the federal Interior Secretariat, the statistics in Mexico have recently taken a turn for the worse.

Domestic violence against women has became an even more acute problem since the pandemic has forced women to stay insider with their abusers. Emergency distress calls reporting domestic violence have risen by 50%.

The occupation of the Human Rights building is just another chapter in the saga of the “Ni Una Menos” (Not One More Woman) movement, an anti-femicide collective born in Argentina that has steadily been gaining steam in Mexico since 2019.

In recent years, anti-femicide demonstrations have been sparked by various heinous crimes against women or girls that have been largely overlooked by law enforcement officials. 

Photo by Marcos Brindicci/Getty Images

Unfortunately, the government of Mexico has appeared to be apathetic to the wave of femicide that is overwhelming the women of their country.

Recently, when President Andrés Manuel López Obrador was asked to address Mexico’s gender violence epidemic, he demurred, stating that he didn’t “want femicide to detract” from the raffle his administration was holding for the sale of the presidential airplane.

As for the feminist activists at the heart of Ni Una Menos and the federal building occupation, the government’s failure to respond to anti-woman violence is the primary fuel for their anger. 

“We’re here so that the whole world will know that in Mexico they kill women and nobody does anything about it,” said Yesenia Zamudio to the LA Times. According to Zamudio, she is still seeking justice for the murder of her 19-year-old daughter four years ago.

The women of Mexico appear to be fed up, grasping at any and all tactics that have the potential to incite change on a grander scale.

Their tactics may seem dramatic to some, but it’s undeniable that they are no longer being ignored. As of now, the radical activists are pulling attention-grabbing stunts like decorating a portrait of Mexican Revolution leader Francisco Madero with lipstick and purple hair.

They’re also making headlines for vandalizing the federal building’s walls and splashing paint on the doors of the presidential palace.

One thing is for sure: something has to change. Otherwise, thousands of innocent women and girls will continue to be raped, abused, and murdered while their perpetrators escape with immunity. 

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Joe Biden Speaks Alongside ‘Fearless Fighter’ Kamala Harris In First Appearance And Recalls Her Family’s Immigrant Story

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Joe Biden Speaks Alongside ‘Fearless Fighter’ Kamala Harris In First Appearance And Recalls Her Family’s Immigrant Story

Chip Somodevilla / Gettycc

After weeks of speculation and anticipation, presidential candidate Joe Biden announced on Tuesday that he has officially picked his running mate.

In a history-making announcement, Biden revealed that he had tapped California Sen. Kamala Harris to be his VP Pick.

“I have the great honor to announce that I’ve picked @KamalaHarris — a fearless fighter for the little guy, and one of the country’s finest public servants — as my running mate,” Biden announced in a tweet.

On Wednesday, Biden held his first campaign event alongside running mate Kamala Harris in Delaware.

During their speeches, the two candidates wore masks and kept their distance in keeping with COVID-19 standards.

Speaking about his VP pick, Biden described Harris as coming from an “America’s story.” Biden described Harris as “a child of immigrants” who “knows personally how immigrant families enrich our country as well as the challenges of what it means to grow up Black and Indian-American in the United States of America,” he explained. “And this morning, all across the nation, little girls woke up, especially little Black and brown girls that feel overlooked and undervalued in their communities, but today — today just maybe they’re seeing themselves for the first time in a new way as president and vice presidents.”

In a speech of her own, Harris emphasized the importance of family and urged citizens to vote.  “We need a mandate that proves that the past few years do not represent who we are or who we aspire to be,” she said. “Joe likes to say that character is on the ballot. And it’s true,” she explained. “I’ve had a lot of titles over my career and certainly vice president will be great. But ‘Momala’ will always be the one that means the most.”

Harris’s nomination makes her the first Black and first Indian-American woman on either major party’s presidential ticket.

Harris is a former prosecutor from California who challenged Biden in her own presidential bid last year. Her nomination makes her the fourth woman to appear on a major presidential ballot. Before her, Geraldine Ferraro ran as a Democratic vice presidential nominee in 1984. In 2008, Republican Sarah Palin ran as a vice presidential nominee, later in 2016, Hillary Clinton became the Democratic presidential nominee.

Biden’s choice was one that has long been in the works. In March of this year, he revealed that he would make a point to have a woman as his running mate and in July he announced that he had narrowed his picks down to four Black women.

Kamala Harris was elected to Congress in 2016.

This has been Harris’ first term as a senator. Before, she served as the California attorney general. During her time as AG, Harris formed a lasting friendship with Biden’s late son Beau who was attorney general at the time in Delaware. Writing about Beau’s death, in her memoir The Truths We Hold, Harris recalled that “there were periods when I was taking the heat when Beau and I talked every day, sometimes multiple times a day,” she wrote in her memoir. “We had each other’s backs.”

Biden’s son Beau died in 2015 from brain cancer. Harris attended his funeral.

During his announcement, Biden mentioned Harris’ friendship with his son.

“I watched as they took on the big banks, lifted up working people, and protected women and kids from abuse,” Biden tweeted. “I was proud then, and I’m proud now to have her as my partner in this campaign.”

So far, it seems there are quite a bit of Harris x Biden supporters.

Fans were quick to give their support and applaud her candidacy.

In a tweet acknowledging her nomination, Harris wrote “@JoeBiden can unify the American people because he’s spent his life fighting for us. And as president, he’ll build an America that lives up to our ideals. I’m honored to join him as our party’s nominee for Vice President, and do what it takes to make him our Commander-in-Chief.”

Here’s to 2020 y’all. Get ready to make history.

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