[Discussion] Separating and/or Detaining Families at the US-Mexico Border


Just figured we could collect this mess in one thread.

DOJ Lawyer Earns 15 Minutes of Infamy

Sarah Fabian: Detained children don't need soap or toothbrushes.
Michael Scott Moore: Somali pirates gave me soap and toothbrushes.
David Rohde: The Taliban gave me soap and toothbrushes.

Agents feared riots, armed themselves because of dire conditions at migrant facility, DHS report says

NBC News wrote:

The government’s own internal watchdog warned as far back as May that conditions at an El Paso, Texas, border station were so bad that border agents were arming themselves against possible riots, countering Friday’s assertion by a top Trump administration official that reports of poor conditions for migrants were “unsubstantiated.”

In an internal report prepared by the Department of Homeland Security's Inspector General and obtained by NBC News, inspectors noted during a May 7 tour of a border station in the El Paso sector that only four showers were available for 756 immigrants, over half of the immigrants were being held outside, and immigrants inside were being kept in cells maxed out at over five times their capacity.

Border agents remained armed in holding areas because they were worried about the potential for unrest, the report said.

Agents typically put their weapons in a lockbox when they enter holding areas, a DHS official said.

A cell meant for a maximum of 35 held 155 adult males with only one toilet and sink. The cell was so crowded the men could not lie down to sleep. Temperatures in the cells reached over 80 degrees, the report said.

"With limited access to showers and clean clothing, detainees were wearing soiled clothing for days or weeks," the report said.

Medical concerns were also rising during early May, the report found. Agents reported taking sick migrants to the hospital five times a day, treating 75 immigrants for lice in a single day and trying to quarantine outbreaks of flu, chickenpox and scabies.

While this particular El Paso facility, the name of which is redacted in the report, did have formula and baby food for children, it did not have soft mats for them to sleep on or clean clothing.

News of the inspector general’s report follows remarks by DHS Acting Secretary Kevin McAleenan on Friday that news stories of poor conditions for children at a border station in the El Paso sector were "unsubstantiated."

Last week, lawyers allowed inside a Border Patrol facility near El Paso in Clint, Texas, reported children taking care of other children and living in soiled clothing.

So we're kinda left with McAleenan either being so incompetent that neither he nor his staff read the reports of dangerous conditions at the border his own Inspector General produced or he was aware of what's happening and chose to lie to the American public.

Inside the Secret Border Patrol Facebook Group Where Agents Joke About Migrant Deaths and Post Sexist Memes

ProPublica wrote:

Members of a secret Facebook group for current and former Border Patrol agents joked about the deaths of migrants, discussed throwing burritos at Latino members of Congress visiting a detention facility in Texas on Monday and posted a vulgar illustration depicting Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez engaged in oral sex with a detained migrant, according to screenshots of their postings.

In one exchange, group members responded with indifference and wisecracks to the post of a news story about a 16-year-old Guatemalan migrant who died in May while in custody at a Border Patrol station in Weslaco, Texas. One member posted a GIF of Elmo with the quote, “Oh well.” Another responded with an image and the words “If he dies, he dies.”

Created in August 2016, the Facebook group is called “I’m 10-15” and boasts roughly 9,500 members from across the country. (10-15 is Border Patrol code for “aliens in custody.”) The group described itself, in an online introduction, as a forum for “funny” and “serious” discussion about work with the patrol. “Remember you are never alone in this family,” the introduction said.


ProPublica received images of several recent discussions in the 10-15 Facebook group and was able to link the participants in those online conversations to apparently legitimate Facebook profiles belonging to Border Patrol agents, including a supervisor based in El Paso, Texas, and an agent in Eagle Pass, Texas. ProPublica has so far been unable to reach the group members who made the postings.

ProPublica contacted three spokespeople for CBP in regard to the Facebook group and provided the names of three agents who appear to have participated in the online chats. CBP hasn’t yet responded.


Several of the postings reviewed by ProPublica refer to the planned visit by members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, including Ocasio-Cortez and Rep. Veronica Escobar, to a troubled Border Patrol facility outside of El Paso. Agents at the compound in Clint, Texas, have been accused of holding children in neglectful, inhumane conditions.

Members of the Border Patrol Facebook group were not enthused about the tour, noting that Ocasio-Cortez, a Democrat from Queens, had compared Border Patrol facilities to Nazi concentration camps. Escobar is a freshman Democrat representing El Paso.

One member encouraged Border Patrol agents to hurl a “burrito at these bitches.” Another, apparently a patrol supervisor, wrote, “f*ck the hoes.” “There should be no photo ops for these scum buckets,” posted a third member.

Perhaps the most disturbing posts target Ocasio-Cortez. One includes a photo illustration of her engaged in oral sex at an immigrant detention center. Text accompanying the image reads, “Lucky Illegal Immigrant Glory Hole Special Starring AOC.”

Another is a photo illustration of a smiling President Donald Trump forcing Ocasio-Cortez’s head toward his crotch. The agent who posted the image commented: “That’s right bitches. The masses have spoken and today democracy won.”

This is probably going to get the "isolated incident" treatment. I've personally known a few BP agents over the twenty years I've lived here and my spouse's business (which she's worked at longer than I've lived here) has always put her in regular contact with BP agents. Neither of us would describe BP agents in general as anything other than racist and sexist.

Edit: Plus, the group has about 9,500 and the Border Patrol has about 20,000 agents. I'll need to double check the math here but that sounds like a significant percentage.

Locking up and torturing migrants and asylum seekers, not because of their acts, but because of the color of their skin is fascism. The cruelty is the point.

So many people get so worked over whether we are a fascist state, and what the press is ignoring is how quickly and efficiently we are getting there.

NYT Op-ed: The Treatment of Migrants Likely ‘Meets the Definition of a Mass Atrocity’
Children are suffering and dying. The fastest way to stop it is to make sure those responsible, including the foot soldiers, face consequences.

The debate over whether “concentration camps” is the right term for migrant detention centers on the southern border has drawn long-overdue attention to the American government’s dehumanizing treatment of defenseless children. A pediatrician who visited in June said the centers could be compared to “torture facilities.” Having studied mass atrocities for over a decade, I agree.

At least seven migrant children have died in United States custody since last year. The details reported by lawyers who visited a Customs and Border Protection facility in Clint, Tex., in June were shocking: children who had not bathed in weeks, toddlers without diapers, sick babies being cared for by other children. As a human rights lawyer and then as a political scientist, I have spoken to the victims of some of the worst things that human beings have ever done to each other, in places ranging from Cambodia to the Democratic Republic of the Congo to Sri Lanka. What’s happening at the border doesn’t match the scale of these horrors, but if, as appears to be the case, these harsh conditions have been intentionally inflicted on children as part a broader plan to deter others from migrating, then it meets the definition of a mass atrocity: a deliberate, systematic attack on civilians. And like past atrocities, it is being committed by a complex organizational structure made up of people at all different levels of involvement.

Thinking of what’s happening in this way gives us a repertoire of tools with which to fight the abuses, beyond the usual exhortations to call our representatives and donate to border charities.

Nation wide protesting the camps tomorrow jul 2.
Close the camps

The link has a map to see if a protest is happening near you.

The Hague or GTFO.

@AOC wrote:

After I forced myself into a cell w/ women&began speaking to them, one of them described their treatment at the hands of officers as “psychological warfare” - waking them at odd hours for no reason, calling them wh*res, etc.

Tell me what about that is due to a “lack of funding?”

@AOC on Twitter wrote:

Just left the 1st CBP facility.

I see why CBP officers were being so physically &sexually threatening towards me.

Officers were keeping women in cells w/ no water & had told them to drink out of the toilets.

This was them on their GOOD behavior in front of members of Congress.

@AOC wrote:

Even if they let you in, these women told us CBP did a lot of “cleaning up” before we arrived.

They were moved into that room from outside tents before our arrival. They said they’d gone 15 days w/o a shower, & were allowed to start bathing 4 days ago (when visit was announced).

@AOC wrote:

This was in fact the type of toilet we saw in the cell.

Except there was just one, and the sink portion was not functioning - @AyannaPressley smartly tried to open the faucet, and nothing came out.

So the women were told they could drink out of the bowl.

@JoaquinCastrotx wrote:

This moment captures what it’s like for women in CBP custody to share a cramped cell—some held for 50 days—for them to be denied showers for up to 15 days and life-saving medication. For some, it also means being separated from their children. This is El Paso Border Station #1.

@AOC wrote:

Meanwhile, one refrain we‘ve heard is that people are overcrowded in CBP concentration camps because the shelters (which are humane places where families can stay together) are full.

So we went to a shelter. They said that wasn’t true at all. Only 150/500 spots were filled.

@AOC wrote:

What’s haunting is that the women I met with today told me in no uncertain terms that they would experience retribution for telling us what they shared.

They all began sobbing - out of fear of being punished, out of sickness, out of desperation, lack of sleep, trauma, despair.

Nice to see that the conversation around AOC tweets is either talking about how horrible things are or claiming she's lying and that detainees can leave anytime they want. That infamous compassionate conservatism rides again.

OG_slinger wrote:

Nice to see that the conversation around AOC tweets is either talking about how horrible things are or claiming she's lying and that detainees can leave anytime they want. That infamous compassionate conservatism rides again.

Adding "can leave anytime" to my bot/troll detector algorithm.

Brilliant quote right at the top:
(If you think it's inappropriate to refer to these as concentration camps, just click here.)

Migrant kids in overcrowded Arizona border station allege sex assault, retaliation from U.S. agents

NBC News wrote:

The poor treatment of migrant children at the hands of U.S. border agents in recent months extends beyond Texas to include allegations of sexual assault and retaliation for protests, according to dozens of accounts by children held in Arizona collected by government case managers and obtained by NBC News.

A 16-year-old Guatemalan boy held in Yuma, Arizona, said he and others in his cell complained about the taste of the water and food they were given. The Customs and Border Protection agents took the mats out of their cell in retaliation, forcing them to sleep on hard concrete.

A 15-year-old girl from Honduras described a large, bearded officer putting his hands inside her bra, pulling down her underwear and groping her as part of what was meant to be a routine pat down in front of other immigrants and officers.

The girl said "she felt embarrassed as the officer was speaking in English to other officers and laughing" during the entire process, according to a report of her account.

A 17-year-old boy from Honduras said officers would scold detained children when they would get close to a window, and would sometimes call them "puto," an offensive term in Spanish, while they were giving orders.

Earlier reports from investigators for the Department of Homeland Security's Office of the Inspector General from the El Paso and Rio Grande Valley sectors in Texas detailed horrific conditions for children and other migrants held in overcrowded border stations where they were not given showers, a clean change of clothes or space to sleep. The reports from the Yuma CBP sector describe similar unsanitary and crowded conditions but go further by alleging abuse and other misconduct by CBP officers.


But in nearly 30 accounts obtained from "significant incident reports" prepared between April 10 and June 12 by case managers for the Department of Health and Human Services, the department responsible for migrant children after they leave CBP custody, kids who spent time in the Yuma border station repeatedly described poor conditions that are not pure byproducts of overcrowding. They reported being denied a phone call, not being offered a shower, sleeping on concrete or outside with only a Mylar blanket, and feeling hungry before their 9 p.m. dinnertime.

One child reported "sometimes going to bed hungry because dinner was usually served sometime after 9 p.m. and by that time she was already asleep," according to the documents.

All children who gave accounts to case managers had been held at the border station longer than the 72 hours permitted by law.

Thirty accounts of mistreatment that goes well beyond simple overcrowding from a single border station over the course of two months...

And this is from government case workers, not immigration lawyers so we know the reality is far, far worse.

ICE Just Quietly Opened Three New Detention Centers, Flouting Congress’ Limits

Mother Jones wrote:

When members of Congress reached a bipartisan deal to end the government shutdown in February, they gave Immigration and Customs Enforcement a simple instruction: Stop detaining so many people. Instead, ICE pushed its detention population to an all-time high of 54,000 people, up from about 34,000 on an average day in 2016 and well above the 40,520 target Congress set for ICE.

Now, just after Congress rejected another request for more detention money, ICE is continuing to spend money it hasn’t been given. Mother Jones has learned that ICE has started using three new for-profit immigration detention centers in the Deep South in recent weeks. One of them has seen the death of three inmates following poor medical treatment and a violent riot in 2012 that left a guard dead.

Interviews with lawyers and prison officials and ICE records reveal that the agency has begun detaining migrants at the Adams County Correctional Center, a Mississippi prison operated by CoreCivic; the Catahoula Correctional Center, a Louisiana jail run by LaSalle Corrections; and the South Louisiana ICE Processing Center, run by GEO Group in Basile, Louisiana. ICE has not previously disclosed its use of the Adams County and Catahoula centers, though GEO Group did announce in April that ICE would soon begin using the Basile facility. On Tuesday, ICE spokesman Bryan Cox confirmed that all three facilities started housing ICE detainees late last month. Together, the three detention centers can hold about 4,000 people, potentially expanding ICE’s presence in Louisiana and Mississippi by 50 percent.


Concentrating asylum seekers in Southern states makes it particularly likely that they will lose their cases because of the region’s harsh judges and shortage of immigration lawyers. There are not enough judges in Louisiana to hear the new cases, and there are no immigration courts in Mississippi. As a result, many of these new asylum seekers will be forced to represent themselves in video hearings with out-of-state judges. (The Southern Poverty Law Center and American Civil Liberties Union of Louisiana are suing ICE to try to force it to release more asylum seekers from detention in Louisiana and other Southern states.)

Homero López, the executive director of the Louisiana legal aid organization ISLA, says that even some Louisiana detainees who can afford a lawyer aren’t able to get one because of how quickly ICE is expanding in the state. “ICE is saying they want to get to 15,000 [detainees] by the end of the summer in Louisiana,” López says, based on what he’s heard from guards and other lawyers. “There’s an intentional, purposeful approach behind this of putting people where they can’t access counsel.”


Sarah Pierce, a policy analyst at the nonpartisan Migration Policy Institute, says it’s unclear where ICE is getting the money for the expansion, given that Congress just made a point of not giving it additional detention money. Pierce considers the expansion “especially brazen” in light of the recent reports showing children in Customs and Border Protection custody lacking “even the most basic resources.” She asks where immigration officials are finding the money to detain thousands of additional immigrants “if the administration cannot provide children with soap.”

ICE still hadn’t finalized the contract for the 2,232-person Adams County prison when Congress voted on the June spending bill, according to reporting from the Natchez Democrat. Marshall Goff, an attorney with the Mississippi law firm Chhabra & Gibbs, says his firm got its first clients from Adams County in the past two weeks and that many of the people being held there are asylum seekers.

Laura Rivera, a staff attorney with the Southern Poverty Law Center, says that some of her clients who were transferred to Adams County last week are still not showing up in ICE’s detainee locator tool. She says ICE also violated its own detention standards by failing to notify her of the transfer. “People just disappear from the system,” Rivera says. “It makes it extraordinarily hard to represent them.” Like all of the new ICE jails in the South, Adams County is remote. It is located on Hobo Fork Road on the outskirts of Natchez, a small city about two hours south of Jackson.


More liberal crap. The Bible is about how being rich is good, being white is better, and being male the best.

Paleocon wrote:


And yet...



WHEN NEWS BROKE that thousands of current and former Border Patrol agents were members of a secret Facebook group filled with racist, vulgar, and sexist content, Carla Provost, chief of the agency, was quick to respond. “These posts are completely inappropriate and contrary to the honor and integrity I see — and expect — from our agents day in and day out,” Provost said in a statement. “Any employees found to have violated our standards of conduct will be held accountable.”

For Provost, a veteran of the Border Patrol who was named head of the agency in August 2018, the group’s existence and content should have come as no surprise. Three months after her appointment to chief of the patrol, Provost herself had posted in the group, then known as “I’m 10-15,” now archived as “America First X 2.” Provost’s comment was innocuous — a friendly clapback against a group member who questioned her rise to the top of the Border Patrol — but her participation in the group, which she has since left, raises serious questions.

Horrible but not surprising. When you have a job which is "you against illegals " it is pretty logical that people who don't like illegals will take those jobs.

The draft of the agreement doesn’t provide much clarity on how it will be implemented—another person with knowledge of the agreement said, “This reads like it was drafted by someone’s intern”—

Now there's an apt description of Trump's policies.

Man, I sure wish that instead of the Facebook ‘assault’ on Area 51, we’d just form an assault on these camps instead.

NPR: 3-Year-Old Asked To Pick Parent In Attempted Family Separation, Her Parents Say

At a Border Patrol holding facility in El Paso, Texas, an agent told a Honduran family that one parent would be sent to Mexico while the other parent and their three children could stay in the United States, according to the family. The agent turned to the couple's youngest daughter — 3-year-old Sofia, whom they call Sofi — and asked her to make a choice.

"The agent asked her who she wanted to go with, mom or dad," her mother, Tania, told NPR through an interpreter. "And the girl, because she is more attached to me, she said mom. But when they started to take [my husband] away, the girl started to cry. The officer said, 'You said [you want to go] with mom.' "

Tania and her husband, Joseph, said they spent parts of two days last week trying to prevent the Border Patrol from separating their family. They were aided by a doctor who had examined Sofi and pleaded with agents not to separate the family, Joseph and Tania said. [NPR is not using migrants' last names in this story because these are people who are in the middle of immigration proceedings.]

I have read and watched several interviews of the children, with very similar trends (for example all of the children communicating that their parents refused to pick them up because they didn't love them).

It seems pretty obvious that mental and emotional attacks on the young children is literally standardized practice throughout these facilities.

The cruelty is the point. Trump wants our message to potential asylum seekers to be that we will traumatize or kill your children if you come.