It finally feels like the atrocities occurring in Donald Trump’s border camps are getting the attention they deserve, and yet still not nearly enough is being done. Children are still being held in cages, some of them dying from the inhumane conditions. Sexual abuse is rampant and the administration refuses to take any kind of responsibility for its cruel practices, going as far as to have a lawyer argue in front of a judge that making sure detained children are able to sleep is not a requirement for maintaining legal “sanitary conditions” for them.
We are dealing with unmitigated evil here, and the more we learn, the worse the picture becomes. BuzzFeed News now reports that inspectors for the Department of Homeland Security took a trip to the border detention centers earlier this month and discovered absolutely appalling conditions.
Migrants, including children, are being held without the ability to shower with some forced to use wet wipes to clean themselves. There are adult detainees subsisting solely on intermittent meals of bologna sandwiches, leading some to develop constipation. In two different facilities, investigators discovered that the migrants were not provided with hot meals until the week the investigators themselves showed up on the scene. Like something out of a horror film, some of them were seen banging on the windows of the facility, attempting to write messages and hold them up to tell the outside world how long they’ve been kept prisoner.
The subsequent report filed by the DHS officials was obtained and reviewed by Buzzfeed. In it, the investigators reveal conditions that are “dangerous” and “prolonged.” Some of the migrants were forced to survive in standing-room-only detainment facilities for as long as a week, a grueling and painful experience by any standard. Children were found confined in closed cells as if they were no better than stray dogs.
“The data showed that 826 of the 2,669 children held at the border facilities were in custody longer than the 72 hours mandated by court orders,” Buzzfeed’s Hamed Aleaziz reports.
The report emphasizes that these problems need to be addressed immediately and described the crisis as a “ticking time bomb” while another investigator warned that if conditions aren’t improved for these people there could be “fear of a revolt.” What is needed now is compassion, not the heartless iron fist that Trump has brought down in an effort to appear tough. These people need sanitary and comfortable housing, medical supplies, and proper nourishment as we sort through their asylum claims and work to unify families. America can and must do better.
It should go without saying that Donald Trump cannot be trusted to fix this issue. He knows his supporters draw glee from him mistreating migrants, and so he has an incentive to make things worse, not better. The only real option is for every American with a conscience to call their representatives and senators and urge them to take action. Beyond that, we must vote Trump and every single one of his enabling Republican cronies out of office. Innocent people are dying and if nothing is done their blood will be on all of our hands.