A Letter to Senator Ron Johnson on Migrant Detention Centers

I wrote a letter to Republican Senator Ron Johnson a few weeks ago about the crisis going on at the migrant detention centers being run by our government.

Senator Johnson is the head of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security. Dan Shafer, of The Recombobulation Area Blog, detailed how Senator Johnson has failed to use his position in leadership to address this growing and pressing crisis thus far.

I urge you to email Senator Johnson about this here, or call his office at (202)-224-5323. I also urge you to donate to this fund that’s raising money for those who’ve been left behind because of a massive raid by ICE in Mississippi earlier this week, as well as to donate to the ACLU who helps provide legal representation to those being held in these facilities and elsewhere.

Letter

Dear Senator Johnson,

I wanted to write you regarding the conditions in these migrant detention centers that our government is running. Since you’re in a crucial position of power as the head of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security, you could actually do something to address the horrid conditions that our government is subjecting these people to.

We’ve seen countless stories now over the past several weeks that have detailed conditions that read like the first-hand accounts I’ve studied and read about from infamous concentration camps like Dachau (I’m a historian who’s studied this topic extensively).

We’ve read about children being intentionally separated from their parents, with ICE and CBP in several instances lying to the parents to get them to part with their kid.

We’ve heard several experts refer to not only the child separation policy as causing several mental harm to these children, but have also seen them refer to the conditions in which they’re being held as “torture facilities.” 

We’ve heard people talk about being deprived of their basic necessities for care, such as a bath or a shower, clean clothing, a tooth brush, or soap.

We’ve heard about horrible instances of verbal abuse towards women and children, with officials working at these facilities telling them to drink out of toilets, and calling them degrading and dehumanizing names like “whores.”

We’ve heard accounts from people who’ve been sexually assaulted in their custody.

We’ve also heard about people dying in their custody because of what can only be described as homicidal neglect by some officials.

Beyond this, we’ve begun to see first-hand accounts of individuals who are citizens of our country being arrested and held for weeks without a hearing in the custody of ICE and CBP. Erwin Galicia, a Dallas-born resident, was the most recent example of this.Not only did they ignore his proof of citizenship, they left him in conditions where he was essentially tortured.

This is just a sampling of what’s happening right NOW. Many experts believe this situation will only continue to get worse with time. As several experts on concentration camps have pointed out, these facilities have all of the hallmarks of being concentration camps ALREADY, and the conditions in them will only continue to get worse over time if we do not act now.

More money will not solve this problem alone, especially when the current administration is, at best, enabling the conditions for these atrocities to occur. Without the most basic guidelines and protections in place, which you have the power to enact by law, these people will continue to be abused and tortured.

You must act. You must speak up. You’re in a position of power. You can call for the end of these detention facilities right now! You can advocate for legislation that requires better treatment of these people. You can investigate the wrong-doing occurring in these facilities and help see that those responsible for these human rights violations are brought to justice. We need you to lead.

These are human beings. They came here to seek legal asylum. They came here to seek out a better life, just like our ancestors did. Their lives are literally in your hands. Stop engaging in far-right politics by demonizing these people. Deporting more people in a “faster process” will not solve this problem either. Start taking substantive actions to protect these people now!

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