Could this video of caged and separated families be you one day?   

Inside a detention facility in Texas (Image Source: US Border Patrol)

The current immigration policy being enacted under the leadership of President Donald J. Trump that is separating children from immigrants seeking asylum has become a horrible stain of evil exposed to the light of the world. The United Nations Human Rights Office has called the practice a serious violation of children’s rights and called the separations “arbitrary and unlawful” and asked for an immediate halt to the practice. Politicians and humanitarians have pleaded with the Trump administration and Attorney General Jeff Sessions to stop the practice. In response, Sessions used a biblical text to justify the position of the government. The next day, Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee-Sanders doubled down on the Sessions’ biblical reference but obviously looked uncomfortable trying to justify the unjustifiable.

Yesterday, US Border Patrol officials released footage of a packed detention facility that has caused outrage. The footage was shot in McAllen, Texas, and according to a Border Patrol spokesperson, there are an estimated 1K people at the facility, with 250 being children. The images are heartbreaking and show men, women, and children caged like animals, with some sleeping on the floor covered in a thin foil survival blanket. These people have crossed the border illegally and under Trump’s “zero-tolerance policy” are referred for prosecution. As a result, adults are sent to federal detention facilities under the custody of US Marshals, while the children are sent to facilities across the US run by the Department of Human Services.

It is frightening to see how easily this immoral policy is being spun on conservative news. After the video was released, Fox News host Laura Ingraham stated on her show “The Ingraham Angle“, “As more illegal immigrants are rushing the border, more kids are being separated from their parents, and temporarily housed at what are, essentially, summer camps.”

A shocking and callous statement that echoes the spirit of “Make America Separate Again” to the delight of Trump’s power base. But everyone should be alarmed, as long closed Walmart megastores are being used to house detained immigrants. According to the Washington Post, in Brownsville, Texas, a closed 250K square foot building now houses 1,400 immigrant boys. It is not hard to imagine in these volatile political times how anyone’s civil liberties could be stripped from them and people could be detained in mass. Since the rise of Black Lives Matter and other social justice movements, municipalities have cracked down on demonstrators. Citizens of major cities saw a militarized police force and White vigilante groups descend on their neighborhoods and enforce curfews. All of America saw White supremacists and neo-Nazi groups march, brutalize, and in one case kill those protesting hatred as President Trump and his supporters turned a blind eye.

It is a terrifying thought that a person fleeing injustice could find themselves caged and separated from family, like those in the video below:

Mo Barnes
Mo Barnes

Maurice "Mo" Barnes is a graduate of Morehouse College and Political Scientist based in Atlanta. Mo is also a Blues musician. He has been writing for Rolling Out since 2014. Whether it means walking through a bloody police shooting to help a family find justice or showing the multifaceted talent of the Black Diaspora I write the news.



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