Things That Matter

A Migrant Father Died In US Custody So His Daughter Is Now Being Treated Like An Unaccompanied Minor

customsborder / Instagram

An anonymous whistleblower reported to the Associated Press another fatality at the hands of U.S. Border Patrol Custody. The man was a 43-year-old father who traveled with his daughter from El Salvador for refuge in the U.S. He and his daughter were held for a week at the Rio Grande Valley central processing center in McAllen, Texas.

The unidentified man collapsed at the facility and was transferred to a hospital where he later died. A statement from U.S. Customs and Border Protection offers no information yet on the cause of the man’s death.

His death is the seventh since December 2018.

@MasoKitchen / Twitter

Before then, there had not been a single reported migrant death in federal custody in more than a decade. New administration policies, likely fueled by privatized detention facilities, force asylum seekers to be detained in what are being referred to as concentration camps. The centers are overcrowded, creating unsafe and unsanitary conditions for migrants.

The man’s daughter is expected to be transferred to a facility like this.

@CNNPolitics / Twitter

There is no report of the daughter’s age or condition after her father’s death. She was in Border Patrol custody but officials have submitted an expedited transfer to a shelter specifically geared toward unaccompanied minor migrants. The goal is to release her to a sponsor, but it will likely take weeks or months until she finds a semblance of home.

Meanwhile, breaking news of a Facebook group for Border Patrol agents corroborates a culture of violence and disdain for migrants.

Untitled. Digital Image. ProPublica. 1 July 2019.

Last week, a Salvadoran father and one-year-old daughter drowned in the Rio Grande. The group, called “I’m 10-15” which is Border Patrol code for the arrest of an ‘illegal alien’, is filled with desensitized posts like this one.

News of Congress members arriving at Border Patrol facilities prompted members of the group to respond violently.

Untitled. Digital Image. ProPublica. 1 July 2019.

Included in the Facebook group discussion, as reported by ProPublica, includes photoshopped images of Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez being violently forced to perform sexual acts on President Trump.

Out of respect for the Congresswoman, we have chosen not to disclose those images here. Instead, the lighter option is an example of a Border Patrol agent suggesting a racist and violent group effort “to throw a 10-15 burrito at one of these b***es. Who ever does it takes the pot of $$$.” We don’t know what a 10-15 burrito is but we’re sure it’s racist AF.

AOC pointed out that almost half of the total CBP agents in the U.S. belong to this Facebook group.

@AOC / Twitter

These people are in positions of power, meant to oversee the treatment of traumatized refugees in horrific living conditions. The Facebook group offers no hope that CBP culture is respectful of migrants or women.

Just today, AOC visited several CBP facilities and reported that women were told to hydrate from toilet water.

@AOC / Twitter

AOC’s first-hand report comes in just days after a doctor reported that breastfeeding mothers were only given 1.5 liters of water per day, less than half the minimum amount required. The doctor also reported that children were losing weight in American facilities.

“CBP made us check our phones,” AOC tweeted.

@AOC / Twitter

“But one woman slipped me this packet to take with me,” tweets AOC alongside a photo. “It says “shampoo,” but she told me that this is all they give women to wash their entire body. Nothing else. Some women’s hair was falling out. Others had gone 15 days without taking a shower.”

If migrants are dehumanized, how can their medical needs be taken seriously?

@AOC / Twitter

“Now I’ve seen the inside of these facilities. It’s not just the kids. It’s everyone. People drinking out of toilets, officers laughing in front of members Congress,” AOC followed up in a tweet.

“I brought it up to their superiors. They said, ‘officers are under stress & act out sometimes.’ No accountability.” It should never be a permissible cathartic act for an employee to force women to drink from toilets. These are government employees paid by our taxes.

An aerial view of a detention facility exemplifies the conditions under which seven migrants have died.

@PatrickGilmore / Twitter

The U.S.’s capacity for detained migrants is 4,000 people. We currently have 15,000 in custody because our administration prefers indefinite detention.

We wish we knew the name of the man who bravely made the journey from El Salvador to give his daughter a better life. We’re so sorry the last week of your life was spent here.

READ: A Secret Facebook Group For Immigration Officers Mocking Dead Migrants Has Been Exposed

Samantha Bee Sat Down With Four Undocumented People Who Once Worked For President Trump

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Samantha Bee Sat Down With Four Undocumented People Who Once Worked For President Trump

Full Frontal with Samantha Bee / YouTube

President Trump has made it a key part of his presidency to go after undocumented immigrants. He has used tactics to demonize them and uses fearmongering to make sure his base of supporters blame the undocumented community for their problems. Samantha Bee recently sat down with three undocumented people who were once employees of Trump and how they saw a change after his practices were exposed.

Samantha Bee started by asking them if they needed papers when they were first hired.

Credit: Full Frontal with Samanta Bee / YouTube

“When I got there I asked the supervisor, ‘Do we need papers here?’” one of the women recalled. “And she says, ‘No, no, it doesn’t matter. But in 2016, they started asking for documents. And then my manager told me, ‘This guy will take you somewhere where they make those papers.’”

That’s right. A former housekeeper for President Trump told Samantha Bee that she was not required to have papers are the start of her job but was eventually taken to get fake ones made.

Originally, the undocumented workers for Trump did think that things might get better for them when he was running to be president.

Credit: Full Frontal with Samantha Bee / YouTube

However, they quickly realized that he was going to do anything but help them if he won the race. Unfortunately, they were right. Trump has a documented record of attacking undocumented immigrants and has started taking aim at legal immigrants.

Within the company, things did change when Trump started his presidential campaign.

Credit: Full Frontal with Samantha Bee / YouTube

“When he started his campaign, from then on they didn’t let me go to his house,” one woman told Samantha Bee. “So, I would go into Ivanka’s house and sometimes Eric’s when he would visit.”

Yet, instead of firing people for being undocumented when he became the president, he gave them certificates.

Credit: Full Frontal with Samantha Bee / YouTube

The certificates were to show the employees how much Trump appreciated their hard work while working for him. They originally thought they were pretty cool because they are from the White House. Yet, it was not enough to combat the darkness to come.

It wasn’t long until there was abuse from the supervisors, according to one woman.

Credit: Full Frontal with Samantha Bee / YouTube

“The supervisor would assign me double shifts,” the first source said. “And she would tell me, ‘This is how we should treat immigrants’—and if we said anything, immigration would come. And when [Trump] called us ‘immigrant rapists,’ the supervisor would say, ‘Good, good, that’s nice because immigrants are no good. Garbage.’ … There were many insults, and she even hit me three times,” she alleged. “So I decided to speak out, because there was so much injustice.”

Watch the full interview below!

READ: Undocumented Employees Are Being Fired From Trump’s Mar-A-Lago Resort After Hiring Practices Were Exposed

Protests Arise As El Salvador Prosecutors Seek A Third Trial For Evelyn Hernandez

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Protests Arise As El Salvador Prosecutors Seek A Third Trial For Evelyn Hernandez

@bbcstories / Twitter

There are rising tensions in El Salvador as activists are protesting the attorney general’s decision to seek a third trial for a woman accused of killing her stillborn son. The woman, Evelyn Hernandez, was exonerated in an August retrial after an earlier judgment found her guilty of killing her stillborn son and sentenced her to 30 years behind bars. Hernandez, 21, was found innocent after the judge said there was not enough evidence to convict her of the crime. 

The issue of abortion has always been a widely-debated and divisive topic in conservative El Salvador where abortion is illegal. Many women in the country have been prosecuted for attempting abortions even in dire medical situations. Activists look at Hernandez’s case as an example of an unjust system targeting her due to her limited financial status. 

 “We do not want Evelyn to be viewed as a criminal and persecuted,” Claribel Ayala, a protester outside the attorney general’s office in El Salvador told Reuters. “We’re going to stand with her until justice is done.”

While activists see Hernandez’s case as a trial against women rights, prosecutors are looking at her as a criminal.

Credit: @NARAL / Twitter 

Activists dressed in clown attire took to the streets of El Salvador this week to voice their disapproval of the news that attorney general Raul Melara would be seeking a third trial in Hernandez’s case. Many of them threw confetti-filled eggs at his office and even painted his door red with paint. Melara acknowledges their anger but sees the case with a different lens.  

“There are groups that have a big interest in seeing this as persecution against poverty, that this woman is being targeted because she had an emergency outside the hospital, but the proof is overwhelming and shows this isn’t the case,” Melara told reporters.

Hernandez’s release from prison was viewed as a victory for women rights. 

Credit: @karlazabs / Twitter

Hernandez said she was raped by a gang member and was unaware of her pregnancy until just before delivering a stillborn son back in 2016. She was found on her bathroom floor covered with blood and would be taken to an emergency room by her mother and a neighbor. When doctors examined her they noted that there were visible signs of delivery but found no baby. They reported Hernandez to local authorities and would later find her newborn dead inside of a septic tank.

She’s been convicted and sentenced to 30 years in prison for the alleged killing of her child. Prosecutors said that she had purposely induced abortion only to leave the newborn to die. Hernandez wound up only serving 33 months out of her original 30-year sentence before being released in February. 

This was due to an appeal before the Supreme Court who said that Hernandez should be released due the original conviction being based on prejudice and insufficient evidence. The acquittal was looked at as a huge victory for women’s rights not only in El Salvador but globally. 

“It was tough to be locked up, especially when I was innocent,” Hernandez said the day she was released. “There are others who are still locked up and I hope they are freed soon.”

Hernandez has maintained her innocence from the start that she had no knowledge of being pregnant. Now prosecutors are looking at a third trial to convict her of killing her newborn child. 

Credit: @marlasirens / Twitter

The attorney general is seeking to convict Hernandez of murder even after being released from prison. While many see Hernandez as the true victim in this ordeal, prosecutors see things differently.  

“As Attorney General of the Republic, we are responsible for the support and accompaniment of women victims in any crime and in any of its modalities, but, in the case of Evelyn Hernández, there are no elements to consider her a victim of any fact, on the contrary, the only victim is her son,” prosecutors said in a statement . “This appeal is the manifestation of the legal protection of … the life of a helpless being who depended absolutely on the care of his mother, who caused his death.”

Hernandez’s legal team is fighting back against these claims saying that the attempt at a retrial is a waste of resources that could be used to serve more important issues. 

“We expected this persecution against Evelyn to stop,” one of her lawyers, Elizabeth Deras, told BuzzFeed News. “Instead, they are spending the state’s resources unnecessarily. Resources that could be used to fight corruption.”

As of now, the request for a new trial must be assessed by a different court before it can proceed legally. The prosecution is looking to sentence Hernandez to 40 years in prison.  

READ: These Are Our Favorite Fast Foods You Can Get In Latin America But Not In The US, Dos Por Favor!