Things That Matter

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

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

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Joe Biden Promises To Fight For Dreamers If Elected In November

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Joe Biden Promises To Fight For Dreamers If Elected In November

Biden For President / Flickr

An overwhelming majority of Americans support protecting Dreamers. Hundreds of thousands of young adults rely on the protection from deportation and work authorization to live with dignity and out of the shadows. Presidential nominee Joe Biden wants to make sure they stay protected.

Dreamers are looking to a Biden administration to finish what an Obama administration started.

Credit: Biden For President / Flickr

According to the official Biden campaign website, the presidential nominee will work with Congress to reinstate DACA protections and to create a pathway to citizenship. DACA was won by undocumented activists putting fear aside and publicly fought to change the minds of Americans and politicans.

“Undocumented ‘youth’ are no longer youth,” says Moises Serrano, DACA activist and the man profiled in the documentary “Forbidden.” “DACA recipients and undocumented immigrants have been living in fear and instability for decades now. We survived eight years under the Obama administration and four years under the Trump administration. Immigration reform was promised under the Obama-Biden platform; a promise that is still unfulfilled.”

He added: “We hope that President Biden puts an end to the instability in our lives once and for all, or we are ready to hold him accountable in the same way we held Obama accountable in our fight for Administrative Relief.”

Biden’s policy proposes protecting Dreamers and helping them advance in this country.

Credit: Biden For President / Flickr

Biden promises to reinstate DACA to protect Dreamers and will be looking into ways to protect their families. The policy put forth by a potential Biden administration is pivotal in giving those who are DACA recipients a chance to live without fear and with all of the rights as their fellow citizens.

“After living through a deep loss in 2016 after losing my second mother and only being granted access to be on her deathbed in Mexico through my ability to get advanced parole through DACA I learned that no loss would ever be greater than that,” said Cindy Nava, a DACA recipient, political operative and policy advocate. “However, November rolled around and another loss took place. One that impacted my life, that of my family and my community.”

DACA is a very important issue as hundreds of thousands of Dreamers are on the line.

Credit: Biden For President / Flickr

People like Nava are hopeful that a Biden administration will bring that dignity back to the immigrant community. It is a community that is vibrant and has contributed vastly to American culture. A BIden administration would be a chance for Nava to see herself reflected in government.

“I am hopeful to see the daughter of immigrants, a woman of color, and a woman I can finally feel represented by be sworn in as the first woman VP of this country,” Nava says. “I will look forward to an administration that listens to the communities it intends to represent. An administration that empowers the entire country to work with each other to support, strengthen, respect and uplift each other each and every day. An administration that values and is grateful for the contributions that immigrants bring to the foundation of our country each and every day.”

Nava wants to see an immigration reform that puts immigrant humanity at the forefront. One that understands the needs for people to seek refuge and a better life in a foreign country.

“No immigrant seeks to find a fix on a silver platter. Nor do they believe that this will be an easy task,” Nava says. “The only thing our families ask for is a chance. Una oportunidad para recordarle a este pais that their lucha and determination comes from a deep sense of ganas to create a life filled with more opportunities than they ever had.”

The battle over DACA is far from over but it is clear that the Trump administration is on the wrong side of public opinion. Biden’s plan would strengthen DACA and restore the program to its full functionality.

READ: Trump Administration Limit DACA Renewals, Blocks New Applications

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President Trump Falsely Claimed That Covid Is To Blame For Ending DACA

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President Trump Falsely Claimed That Covid Is To Blame For Ending DACA

Drew Angerer / Getty Images

In 2017, then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions held a press conference terminating Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) on behalf of the Trump administration. Since then hundreds of thousands of DACA recipients have lived in uncertainty. President Donald Trump tried to rewrite history at his town hall event Oct. 15.

President Donald Trump blamed the end of DACA on Covid during his town hall.

The truth is that President Trump’s administration attempted to end DACA in 2017. Former Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions was the attorney general at the time and made the announcement in a press conference. Since then, the Trump administration has continued to advance a lawsuit to terminate the program. DACA allows for hundreds of thousands of adults to work and live in the U.S. without fear of deportation.

Long before Covid, the Trump administration was told to resume DACA as intended.

Instead, the Trump administration has violated federal orders and continued to restrict DACA and those who can apply. The Supreme Court refused to hear arguments against DACA meaning that the lower court’s ruling stood. The ruling was that the Trump administration had to reinstate the program in full. However, the Supreme Court did not dismiss the case allowing for the administration to come back.

President Trump also claimed that DACA recipients and Dreamers are not that same.

Another falsehood by the president at the town hall. DACA recipients are indeed Dreamers. The term Dreamers does apply to DACA recipients who would benefit from the DREAM Act. The legislation would legally enshrine the protections of DACA and was introduced by Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois in 2001. Over the course of 19 years, the piece of legislation has not moved despite the overwhelming support from the American public.

People watching the town hall were quick to call out President Trump.

People are not letting President Trump get away with trying to rewrite history about DACA. His administration is the one trying to strip DACA recipients of their protections. At one point, President Trump tried using DACA recipients as political pawns in an attempt to secure funding for his border wall.

Voters are calling on other voters to help protect the program in November.

The two nominees have very different DACA plans. President Trump has and will continue to try to take away the protections from DACA recipients. Former Vice President Joe Biden has a plan to offer citizenship to DACA recipients, something American voters support. DACA is a wildly popular program that gives some of the most vulnerable people in our society a chance to live a normal life.

READ: The Trump Administration Has Officially Rescinded DACA. Here’s What You Need To Know.

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