US Southern Border: Shock and Outrage Are Not Enough – Action Is Required


Marc Ash - Reader Supported News

Eight-year-old Felipe Gomez Alonso of Yalambojoch, Guatemala, one of 7 children to die in U.S. custody of border security. Photo: Gomez Alonzo family

5 July 2019 – The images and reports coming out of US immigrant facilities are every bit as bad as they seem, and likely worse, based on what we do not see and what cannot be known.

These are human rights atrocities being committed on US soil by US officials. Not only are there children in cages, they are being left in those cages with little food, water, hygiene or medical attention. Seven children are now dead and in all likelihood more will be.

To make matters worse, Trump administration officials appear increasingly willing to ignore, flout, or deliberately break the law to exacerbate the problem for political gain. They seem to want what they define as a “crisis at the border” and are apparently willing to do whatever is necessary to create one.

The Democrats now in control of the House seem completely outmatched. While some Democrats appear genuinely distressed at the suffering, the best they can manage are photo-ops on the periphery to score their own political points.

Also See: Attorneys Seek Emergency Court Order to End ‘Health and Welfare Crisis’ in Migrant Detention Centers

The courts have ruled consistently against the administration and the border security agencies involved. So far, those rulings have had little impact. Conditions have worsened for detainees, and abuses have intensified. Again, these are significant human rights violations occurring on US soil, leading so far to the deaths of 7 children.

Badly lacking inside the facilities are food, water, and basic hygiene and medical supplies. All of which could be supplied by the government if it chose to do so. The other problem is a lack of monitoring inside the facilities. The government’s position is always that treatment of the detainees is adequate or good until evidence emerges to the contrary.

To address the problem, relief workers need to get inside the facilities with basic supplies and constant monitoring, including the ability to document conditions.

There are relief agencies capable of getting aid into the facilities, based both in the US and internationally. The courts can order aid and monitoring inside the detention centers by non-governmental organizations on an emergency basis. Those petitions need to move forward, and the relief effort inside the facilities needs get started immediately.

Standing outside the gates of these facilities in shock and horror is not enough. Relief workers and monitors must be allowed to enter the detention centers and provide the humanitarian aid that US and international law demands.


Marc Ash is the founder and former Executive Director of Truthout, and is now founder and Editor of Reader Supported News.

Reader Supported News is the Publication of Origin for this work. Permission to republish is freely granted with credit and a link back.

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