By Brianna McAdoo, Special to the AFRO
Around the world, people are watching a humanitarian crisis unfold throughout the United States of America and along its Southern border as the Commander and Chief Donald Trump has waged a reign of terror on Black and Brown migrants. Since Oct. 1, six people have died in ICE custody, thousands of children have been separated from their parents, children have been caged for seeking freedom, in addition to many other harsh acts that have been the response to migrants seeking a shot at the “American Dream.”
President Trump has kept a narrative that the detention centers are not a place for the inhumane caging of people. “I’ve seen some of those places and they are run beautifully,” Trump said.
On July 1, 14 Democratic members of Congress visited two migrant detention centers in Texas in response to the numerous reports of poor conditions at the U.S.-Mexico detention centers. After their visit, Congress confirmed the horrendous conditions the migrants are subjected to, which include overcrowding, limited or no access to hygiene care and showers, minimal to no access to clean water (including being told to drink out of a toilet), continued separation of families, denial of medical attention as well as harassment from the guards within the detention centers.
Rep. Alexandria Ocacio-Cortez (D- NY) released a series of tweets following her visit to the detention center stating: “This has been horrifying so far. It is hard to understate the enormity of the problem,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “We’re talking systemic cruelty with a dehumanizing culture that treats them like animals.”
The National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda (NBWRJA) President and CEO, Marcela Howell swiftly released a statement condemning the crimes being committed by the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol.
“The problems with Customs and Border Patrol did not start with the Trump administration, however, they have exponentially worsened under the leadership of a racist, sexist and xenophobic president.” While the NBWRJA statement calls out the Border Patrol and the Trump administration, it also challenges all American’s to push for immediate change.
The NBWRJA emphasizes the human right’s crisis at hand and proclaims, “Every American with simple basic compassion should rise up and demand and end to these inhumane conditions. We must stop this administration’s campaign to decimate families and destroy immigrants’ lives.”
While the NBWRJA is an organization that champions reproductive rights for Black women, they make it clear that their struggle is intrinsically connected to that of migrants. “As Black women, we understand how it feels to be stripped of our rights. We know the pain of having our children torn from our arms. We are intimately familiar with the systematic attacks on our rights, our families and our lives,”NBWRJA wrote.
“We stand in solidarity with immigrants and all people of color in demanding that America live up to its promise of liberty and justice for all,” NBWRJA added.
The National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda is a national organizational initiative dedicated to highlighting the voices of Black women and girls in the fight for reproductive justice. For more information about the work that they do, visit: http://blackrj.org