Forced To Drink Toilet Water: House Dems Reveal Horrifying Conditions In Migrant Camps

AOC, Joaquin Castro, and other Democrats visited migrant camps as ProPublica revealed a secret Facebook group of Border Patrol agents making bigoted jokes.
Migrant women in a detention facility in Texas (Source: Rep. Joaquin Castro)

Migrant women in a detention facility in Texas (Source: Rep. Joaquin Castro)

Updated July 2, 2019

This is a dark period in American history. Today, more than a dozen House Democrats visited U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) migrant detention centers in El Paso, and Clint, Texas. The conditions that they outlined are objectively inhumane, depraved, and unbecoming of the United States or any civilized society who claims to uphold human rights and decency.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez (D-NY) was the first to begin highlighting what she saw. AOC detailed how migrant women were being told to drink toilet water, being called whores by Border Patrol agents, being emotionally abused, and going 15 days without showering.

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Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-TX), Chairman of the House Hispanic Caucus, corroborated and expanded upon what AOC detailed.

Castro managed to get a device in.

Rep. Joe Kennedy III (D-MA), Rep. Judy Chu (D-CA), and other House Democrats also shared what they saw. NBC News reported that the U.S. government’s own internal watchdog has warned of the conditions at the El Paso facility as far back as May. A federal judge also just ordered CBP to let doctors into child detention centers.

This all came the same day that ProPublica published a truly troubling article that exposed a secret Facebook group for former and current border patrol agents with 9,500 members. In the group, the members joke about migrant deaths, called Latina lawmakers who were set to visit the border “hoes,” posted a sexist meme about AOC, etc. This further exposed the pervasive bigoted culture within the CBP.

Rantt Contributor Rabbi Shaina Bacharach discussed the poor conditions in these migrant centers in her latest article:

Investigators found children taking care of even smaller children. Most of these children haven’t bathed or brushed their teeth in weeks. Sick children were not being treated properly. When they got head lice, guards gave the group two combs to share! People with head lice should not share combs at all —let alone in large groups.

Poor conditions do cause deaths: twenty-four adults in ICE custody; three children in the camps, and two other children at the border. If these conditions persist, we can expect more.

The guards are in uniform, carry arms, and wear face masks. Why face masks? To protect themselves from communicable disease. Couple this with President Trump’s dehumanizing rhetoric and claims that migrants are “infesting” America with disease, and you can see how closely these circumstances are reflective of the past.

To those expressing indignation that many of us compare these detention camps to those of the Nazis, it’s painful to recognize the God-awful truth: these are similar to concentration camps…

It’s important to note that these are asylum seekers who are fleeing violence in their home countries and are trying to enter the country legally. It’s also important to point out some necessary context. The Trump administration’s zero tolerance policy, which led to the separation of at least 2,700 migrant children from their parents last year, was one of President Trump’s most controversial actions. The whereabouts of some of these children are still unknown.

The Department of Health and Human Services’ Inspector General also released a report indicating thousands of more children were separated beginning when Trump took office. Aside from child separation, the Trump administration’s immigration scandals range from migrant women having miscarriages to migrant children being allegedly sexually abused to the death of migrants at the border (which can be tied to Trump’s policy of metering).

A new CNN poll revealed how Americans feel about these conditions:

About 6 in 10 Americans (62%) say they disapprove of the treatment migrants are receiving at the border, but there’s a steep partisan divide here as well. Democrats are near-unanimous in their disapproval (93% disapprove), and a majority of independents feel the same (60%), but most Republicans (62%) say they approve of the way migrants are being treated by the government after crossing the US-Mexico border.

We have to look ourselves in the mirror and ask if this is the nation we want to be right now. Is this depravity representative of our highest ideals? Are we really going to let a simple-minded, ex-reality TV star put us on the brink of authoritarianism? If the answer is no, here are several ways you can help migrants, including upcoming marches.

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News // Donald Trump / Human Rights / Immigration