As the mainstream media spent the week fact-checking Donald Trump’s string of State of the Union prevarications, there is one feature from Tuesday night’s speech not getting enough attention.
In addition to joining other female lawmakers dressed in white in solidarity, three Democratic representatives complemented their attire with pins displaying the picture of a seven-year-old Guatemalan asylum seeker who died in Customs and Border Protection (CBP) custody.
She was buried Christmas day in her hometown of Raxruhá, Guatemala.
Her death, and then of Felipe Gómez Alonzo, has motivated Felipe González Morales, the United Nations special rapporteur on migrants’ human rights, to send U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo a formal complaint and request for an in-depth independent investigation.
González said in an interview with The Guardian:
“Detention of children has such a severe impact on them that we have repeatedly warned of the risks. When a person, especially a child, is in the custody of a state, that state has to ensure their rights. States have an obligation to care for migrants who arrive at the border, they cannot treat them as animals in inhuman [sic] conditions. I’m not saying this happened in this case, but the US has a duty in this regard.”
“I want to make sure that judges and public attorneys carry out the investigation fully in an independent manner without any pressure from the immigration authorities. An internal CBP inquiry would not be satisfactory.”
No matter how we try to explain it away, we are running concentration camps at our Southern border.
Those on whom we are inflicting this torture will have to live with the repercussions for the rest of their lives.
As a nation, so will we.
Kudos to Reps. Ocasio-Cortez, Tlaib, and Omar for ensuring this does not become normalized.
This is not normal.
Image credit: Julissa Arce via Twitter