The name of the game along the U.S. border with Mexico is hide and seek. The CBP will try to hide the fact that immigrants are being illegally detained, and housed in horrendous conditions, while members of Congress, men and women, attempt to show the nation the deplorable conditions in the ICE prisons where the immigrants are forced to wait. Let’s allow for the fact that the guards have a right to stop the immigrants who are crossing the border in unprecedented numbers thanks to the threats of our president to close the border. They don’t have the right to torture them. There are laws that protect the rights of people seeking asylum. There is no justification for what is happening at detention centers along the border with Mexico. At El Paso facilities and other detention centers, there are women, men and children of all age, who are being held in cages. Congresswoman Alexandra Ocasio Cortez visited the facilites but was not allowed to enter and not allowed to take pictures. Rep. Julian Castro was able to sneak a smart phone and captured some scenes that are difficult to describe, of women covered with blankets lying on the floor, and men packed in a cell with no room to lie down. The CBP claims that the number of immigrants have broken the system and they are not equipped to deal with the thousands of immigrants crossing the border. It has been reported that there are not enough judges to process the undocumented immigrants and that is probably true. But it is also true that many of the immigrants held at the border have relatives that could house them, but they have not been allowed to leave or even to contact them.
It is important to point out that our president while traveling outside the country for the G-20 meeting, disparaged the immigrants and offered his opinion that the Border Patrol is unhappy with the Democrats due to their wish to have open borders. He said that in order to justify the attitude of the border guards who have been reported to have a members-only facebook club, where they are allowed to express racist feelings and mock the legislators who want to hold them accountable. In response to the report that the CBP club has 10,000 members who feel free to publish sexist and racist posts, Senator Bernie Sanders wrote that the people in charge of the detention centers “have demonstrated cruelty and indifference, and –like President Trump–do not respect basic human rights or the oversight authority of Congress.” He called for the Department of Homeland Security to investigate and punish the vulgar behavior of the members of that special group. Finally, he agreed with many other legislators who want a complete reform of the immigration system. The reform should include doing away with the inhuman treatment of the thousands of immigrants who come to this country looking for a better life, just like the millions of men and women who built this nation. It is a matter of decency and justice as we celebrate the 4th of July.