Rally for the Children

2 Jul 2019

MoveOn has started up a weekly series of protests to take place at 200 Chestnut Street in Philadelphia over the squalid conditions that detained migrants are kept in. TV host Rachel Maddow did a comprehensive overview of the issue last night (July 2nd). One of the items she pointed out is that the detention centers are not in far-off places where it's difficult to get supplies. They're right in the middle of urban areas and have shopping centers and universities right nearby.

The Head of Homeland Security (Even conservatives said that name made it sound like a Nazi-type of agency when it was created under the younger George Bush) is upset. He's very upset that agents are disrespecting Democrats and the peopele entrusted to their care.  Of course, he's referring to "social media activity," not to the way the DHS actually treates detainees.

There isn't any great mystery as to why detainees are being treated so harshly. It's to deter them from coming to the US in the first place. DHS officials argue that they "are necessary to stem the flow of migrants to the United States." Problem is, the deterrence effect doesn't appear to be very strong.
“Border Patrol seems to think these brutal conditions, and the human suffering that results, will deter immigration, but the fact is that many of these people are fleeing persecution and violence, reuniting with family, or are themselves U.S. citizens,” said James Duff Lyall, an attorney with ACLU of Arizona, back in 2015. “These policies and practices serve no legitimate purpose, violate the U.S. Constitution, and offend basic American values.”
MoveOn speaker
MoveOn speaker and reporter.

Lack of running water for detainees means not just a lack of showers, but that mothers can't wash bottles for their babies. They have to keep providing for their infants with bottles that they can't wash. Doctors are not permitted to simply go into the cages in which detinees are kept and pick out cases that require their help, they must identify patients from information on print-outs and to then ask guards to bring the detainees to them.

We then marched to the Liberty Bell Plaza.

If the Trump Administration had its way, everything they did would take effect immediately and then the country would have to wait until every case had gone all the way to the Supreme Court before anything could be stopped. That way, the "Muslim Ban" started in January 2017, the administration's first month would have been in full effect until June 2018, when the Supremce Court finally decided the case. Fortunately, the courts are able to block these horrible decisions until these cases can be litigated, thereby preventing a great deal of harm from being done. Fortunately, that's what's happened with an order by the Attorney General "that would have detained some asylum seekers indefinitely, ruling on Tuesday that the policy was 'unconstitutional.'” Whew!