Things That Matter

This Heartbreaking Interview With An 11-Year-Old Girl Sees Her Pleading For Her Parents To Not Be Deported

On Wednesday, not even a week after the mass shootings that took place in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, communities of color continued to suffer at the hands of the Trump administration. In what is being called the largest workplace raid in at least a decade, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement arrested nearly 700 undocumented workers from different processing plants in Morton, Mississippi. 

Since the raids happened early in the day, many children were left behind to fend for themselves, without parents to pick them up from school or feed them. 

Scenes of the children’s devastating reactions quickly made rounds on social media. Many of them pleading to ICE officials to let their parents go back home with them. 

After the El Paso shooting in Texas, many survivors and witnesses, some of which were children, we also left wondering if they’d ever see their parents again or if they’d be next in losing their lives at the hands of a gunman. One 5-year-old even asked her grandparents, “is he going to come and shoot me?” With each passing day, children in the U.S. continue to undergo traumas that they shouldn’t be exposed to. 

Now, with ICE officials conducting more raids and ripping parents away from their children, we continue to see the dangerous and violent ways in which the Trump administration shows it doesn’t care at all for communities of color and let alone, the children. 

In a Facebook video recorded outside a plant in Morton, Mississippi, an 11-year-old girl can be heard sobbing and begging an officer for a chance to see her mother. “If I could just see my mother please,” the young girl says.

According to the Associated Press, most of the workers that were detained were also Latinx. These raids marked another blow to the Latinx community who continues to mourn over the mass shooting in El Paso, Texas. But reports state that the raid had been planned for months, “long before a Texas man killed 22 people and injured 24 in El Paso, TX, his white supremacist manifesto promoting concerns of a ‘Hispanic invasion’ of the country.” 

Nevertheless, the raid on Wednesday left many children vulnerable and devastated. According to Mississippi news station WJTV, authorities said children affected by the raid would be placed with another family member, and they were also working with school officials to ensure the children would be cared for. But despite these reports, a journalist for WJTV said that many children who were left behind had nowhere to go. 

Another video of 11-year-old Magdalena also made rounds on social media where she’s seen being interviewed by journalists in tears, pleading for the return of her father.

“Let my parent be free, with everybody else… don’t leave the [children],” she says sobbing. “My dad didn’t do nothing. He’s not a criminal.” 

According to a Twitter video by WJTV’s Alex Love, children can be seen in distress waiting outside what seems to be a school waiting for more information on their parents. “Children of those arrested are left alone in the streets crying for help,” Love writes in his tweet. “Strangers and neighbors are taking them to a local gym to be put up for the night.” Many other community members also volunteered to feed the children by donating food and drinks for dinner. 

As more and more heartbreaking images and videos of children crying after they had been separated from their presents, many thought it wasn’t “ethical” or “right” to share the images and videos showcasing their pain. 

“I don’t think it’s ethical to take and post pictures of distraught children who have found out their parents have been kidnapped by ICE,” said one Twitter user Yasmin Yonis.  

It sparked conversation and some were in her mentions agreeing with her sentiment while other disagreed and thought it was necessary for people to circulate these images in order to evoke empathy.

 One Twitter user mentioned the “desensitization” of the nation and added that it’s a “scary thought that images of distraught toddlers can’t evoke empathy. Just my cents.” A scary thought that seems to be the reality. 

One Twitter user said they thought it was unethical to “obscure the suffering of children or anyone no matter the situation.” 

But at this point what is unclear about what’s happening? The public has seen migrant deaths in photos circulated through social media, we’ve seen parents in detention facilities, and now we’re seeing the trauma form in real-time with these videos of children crying, begging for their parents. 

We’ve gotten to a point where sharing these images of children heartbroken and devastated because their parents have been arrested by ICE is no longer necessary to evoke empathy. 

As immigration journalist, Tina Vasquez wrote for Playboy, “If white Americans need to see dead brown bodies to make sense of their own borders, then journalism will supply their demand. Under the Trump administration, there seems to be no end to America’s capacity to consume migrants’ suffering. After years of inaction and turning the other cheek, America wants to see it all. But then what?” 

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As El Paso Becomes A Covid-19 Hotspot, One Nurse Says The Most Severe Patients Are Being Left To Die In “The Pit”

Things That Matter

As El Paso Becomes A Covid-19 Hotspot, One Nurse Says The Most Severe Patients Are Being Left To Die In “The Pit”

Cities across the United States are experiencing the worst yet of the Coronavirus pandemic. From California to New York, the country is struggling. However, one area that has emerged as a severe hot spot for the virus is El Paso, Texas.

The city has emerged as one of the nation’s hardest-hit regions. To put it into perspective, El Paso has more active Covid-19 infections than the entire country of Mexico.

In addition to a major spike in cases, the city is also seeing an increase in Covid-19 deaths that is seriously overwhelming healthcare workers, public health officials, and the network of morgues. It’s so bad that the city was using inmates to help transport bodies until the Texas’ governor finally deployed the National Guard to assist.

El Paso is emerging as the face of the second wave in the U.S. and the scenes are terrifying.

The El Paso community is struggling to control it’s severe spike in Covid-19 cases as it becomes a national hot spot for the pandemic. As infection rates rise, El Paso has registered more active Covid-19 cases than the entire country of Mexico.

El Paso (a city of 840,000 people) has 34,487 active cases while Mexico (a nation of 129 million) has 23,284. Although, it’s worth noting that many say Mexico’s actual number could be as many as ten times higher thanks to a severely-limited testing program.

El Paso’s government has attempted to get ahead of the virus and had implemented a wide-ranging stay-at-home order that called for hair salons, gyms and restaurant dine-in services to close. However, a court ruling last week by the 8th Circuit struck down that order, putting thousands of lives at risk.

One nurse went viral after telling her story inside “the pit” where many victims are left to die.

One nurse who worked in an El Paso hospital has gone viral after sharing her harrowing story from inside a Covid-19 hospital. In a nearly hourlong Facebook Live video, Lawanna Rivers, a traveling nurse, said that her time spent at the University Medical Center of El Paso was the worst experience she’s had since the pandemic began.

“Out of all the COVID assignments I’ve been on, this one here has really left me emotionally scarred,” she said. “The facility I’m at has surpassed the one I was at in New York.”

Rivers was most upset about how the sickest patients at the hospital were treated. She said they were all put into an area called a “pit,” where they are essentially left to die.

“My first day at orientation, I was told that whatever patients go into the pit, they only come out in a body bag,” Rivers said.

Rivers said doctors at the hospital would not enter the area, and nurses like herself who were stationed in them were under orders to perform CPR just three times on a patient before letting them die.

Rivers said she learned that doctors wouldn’t enter the pit when she called a physician for help one day with a patient who was bleeding profusely. She said the doctor told her they don’t go into the rooms for the sickest COVID-19 patients, so as to not expose themselves to the disease.

Inmates are joining the frontlines as they help to move the bodies of Covid-19 victims.

Credit: Justin Hammel / Getty Images

As the city struggled to manage the spiraling number of infections and deaths, inmates at the County Detention Facility were called upon to assist the El Paso Medical examiner with the overflow of bodies at the morgue.

Inmates were seen in full PPE gear assisting mobile morgues with the rising body count. A spokesperson for the county did not further detail exactly what the inmates were being asked to do but that they were being paid $2 per hour and were serving time for low-level sentences. The county also defended the decision to use inmate labor, saying it was either that or force families to wait even longer to start funeral arrangements.

The National Guard has been called upon to help work in mortuaries.

Credit: Ivan Aguirre / Getty Images

After El Paso resorted to using county jail inmates to move bodies for nearly two weeks, the Texas Army National Guard is sending a 36-person team to assist with mortuary services.

“This is very much needed in our community, and we’re really thankful for [the Texas Division of Emergency Management] and the governor’s action on this,” Democratic state Rep. and Sen.-elect César Blanco said Friday.

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Hate Crimes Towards Latinos Spiked in 2019; Overall Highest They’ve Been in a Decade

Things That Matter

Hate Crimes Towards Latinos Spiked in 2019; Overall Highest They’ve Been in a Decade

Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images

In April of 2019, Connie and Michelle Pineda moved into the quiet suburban neighborhood of Lake Forest in Louisville, Kentucky. At first, their lives were peaceful and uneventful. But soon, the family began to receive a barrage of mysterious harassment.

First, it was the odd chemical burns they found on their front lawn–marks that seemed man-made. Then, some neighborhood kids called the Pineda children a racial slur (the Pinedas are a mixed Latino-Filipino family).

Soon, Connie and Michelle Pineda were waking up to a bright orange swastika accompanied by the n-word spray painted on their driveway.

Photo: Michela Connie Pineda/Facebook

The Pinedas checked their security cameras and discovered the culprit: their neighbor, 52-year-old Suzanne Craft. The Pinedas reported Craft to the authorities, and she was charged with criminal mischief and sentenced to seven days in jail. But that hasn’t stopped her from continuing the harassment. A bag of bullets recently appeared on the Pinedas’ front lawn. It came with a note that read: Get out.

“They live in fear,” the Pinedas’ attorney Vanessa Cantley told The Washington Post. “They have five children and three of them are old enough to know exactly what’s happening. They won’t go out and play in the yard. They won’t go out to walk the neighborhood. They are basically prisoners in their own home. The whole family sleeps in the living room, where there are no windows, because they just don’t know what this woman is capable of.”

Photo: Michela Connie Pineda/Facebook

Unfortunately, stories like this are becoming more and more common in the United States.

The FBI released their annual report detailing hate crime statistics and the data showed that hate crimes have reached their highest level in more than a decade. The report also showed the highest amount of hate-motivated killing since the FBI began collected this type of data in the early 1990s.

According to the FBI report, there were 51 hate-motivated killings in 2019. Twenty-two of those murders were from the El Paso Shooting.

In August of 2019, a gunman open-fired on patrons at a Wal-Mart in El Paso, Texas. It was later discovered that the shooting was racially-motivated. Previous to his killing spree, the shooter wrote on Facebook that Mexicans were “invading” the United States.

Hate crimes against Latinos spiked to 527 in 2019, up from 485 in 2018. Many critics are attributing the rise in hate crimes to the divisive culture we live in–much of which is fueled by President Trump’s racist anti-Latino rhetoric. “When the president calls [Latinos] rapists and criminals, what do you think is gonna happen?” said one Twitter user in response to the news. “His words have meaning to a lot of people and their actions are harmful for our society.”

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