A Senator, Jeff Merkley, was denied entrance to a juvenile internment camp for ICE in Brownsville, Texas this week. You would think he had the pull and juice to enter, congressional oversight and all, but he was not allowed inside.
He did gain admission to a separate processing facility in McAllen, Texas, one that originally housed a Walmart Superstore. He says that the things he saw there will be forever seared in his mind.
The migrant children, he said, undergo their initial screening and sorting in a "dog-kennel style" setting. The senator's team were forced to lock their phones away before entering the facility.
"In the first room the ceiling is lower, the rooms were some, maybe 12 x 12 to 15 x 15," described Merkley of the cyclone-fencing in the space. He added that migrants had only the clothing they were carrying and foil space blankets. A Merkley staffer that traveled with the Senator described the scene as "impossible to calculate" as individuals were being sorted, separating boys from girls and men from women. A four-foot-high cinderblock wall acted as a partition for toilets for them to use. The room, Merkley said, had no padding on the floor, and some individuals were seen lying on the ground. In the same space, inundated staff members input data about the migrants into their computer system, and then, they later moved into a "vast warehouse" where fencing enclosures were "much larger" according to Merkley.
The senator said the ceiling in the next room appeared "much higher" and thin, sparse mattresses were placed on the floor. A Merkley staffer described the enclosures as resembling 20-foot-high cages with netting on top, housing children from ages 4 to 16 years old. From this point, migrant children are moved to detention facilities similar to the one Merkley was barred from entering. These are controlled by the Office of Refugee Resettlement, before they are finally moved to Health and Human Services.
|detainee on leash, Abu Ghraib|
If and when we are finished making America great again, this is I think the memory I will take with me. Can't get much lower. Visiting the sins of the parents on the innocent young children.
We were all immigrants once, all the way back to Beringia. But we seem to have awfully short memories.