“Unconscionable & Unacceptable”: Rep. Barragán Decries Detention of Migrant Children in Prison Cells



this is democracy now democracynow.org the war and peace report I'm Amy Goodman and i'm norman shake welcome to our listeners and viewers around the country and around the world the new york times is reporting the Trump administration is preparing to launch nationwide immigration raids beginning on Sunday to target members of undocumented families officials told the Times that immigration and customs enforcement agents will target at least 2,000 immigrants the raids are expected to take place in at least ten major cities The Times reports authorities might detain immigrants who happen to be on the scene even though they were not targets of the raids President Trump first publicly threatened to carry out the nationwide raids in June but then postponed them this comes as Trump's immigration policies are coming under international criticism the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet has condemned the dire conditions in which jailed migrants are being held in the US and the ongoing separation of children from their families she warned that the detention of migrant children may constitute cruel inhuman or degrading treatment that is prohibited by international law meanwhile congressional lawmakers have decried the conditions where migrant children are being held the New York Times and the opacity is recently revealed there's been an outbreak of scabies shingles and chickenpox at a Border Patrol station in Clint Texas where hundreds of migrant children have been held without access to sufficient food water beds or medical care we go now to Washington DC where we're joined by Democratic congresswoman Annette Barragan of California last week she took part in a congressional delegation that visited that border patrol facility in Clint Texas welcome to democracy now Congress member it's great to have you with us we've just gotten this news of the outbreak of scabies and shingles and chickenpox at that very facility that you visited can you describe what you saw well I mean there is cells much like you've seen in some of these advertisements that the Border Patrol is doing there's about five or six cells where they're whole children now when we went they locked the doors so that we could not talk to these children these are basically prison cells they're concrete floors they're bringing in nylon looking bunk beds maybe you'll get a blanket but you're locked in a room if you go to a separate area in the back after you leave the cell area there's a place that looks almost like a warehouse and it's hot in there there are more these nylon bunk beds and then there's a whole stack of mats ready for children now when we wet Amy there was only about 25 30 children at the height they had 700 children and reports of of children who couldn't sleep and couldn't find a place that even laid down completely unconscionable and unacceptable and a congress member were you able to speak to the children or any of the people who are being detained no when we got there we very clearly were told you cannot speak to the children there's to be zero conversation now when we walked into the area where the prison cells are that's what I call them there's five or six of them there was a door that had like Plexiglas and it went down pretty low so you had a small boy must have been three or four years old run up to the Plexiglas in which case some of us got on our knees to be able to be face to face with this little boy he was putting his hands up against the Plexiglas to to try to touch you to say hello try to communicate with you you could see he was asking for his father it was really heartbreaking to see what was happening and we we were not allowed to go into these cells and talk to the children but there was video from Congress member and chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Joaquin Castro who recorded video on his cell phone during the visit to Border Patrol facilities now Paso Texas the San Antonio Democrat said he refused to relinquish his phone to border agents to take video of detained immigrants and asylum seekers in one video you can he our Congress member Alexandra Castro Cortez speaking to women in Spanish if you can describe how the guards also responded and respond to president Trump's tweet where he said what you've described on the border in these various facilities is untrue he said the people in the facilities that are jailed are very happy and their condition in these jails child jails and otherwise are far better than from where they came from well the the location where the video is taken was right before we got to Clint and first of all with the president's tweet it's an outright lie I have been there firsthand plenty of times when I was there several months ago I saw firsthand the overflow I saw people packed into these prison cells and so it is completely untrue it's completely false what the president is saying I would bet that he hasn't been to these locations and these places to see for himself how packed it is and to see the despair in people's eyes the the face of desperation we got mobbed by women and their children asking for help it is so heartbreaking to be there and to hear that and to not be able to say let me help you let me do something to relieve this pain and to put you in a better situation the the law enforcement officers that we that we were with that gave us this tour we're very different this time around then they had been a couple of months ago when I went last time I went they let me speak to the individuals the parents they let me even take a phone-in they let me take a photo with nobody's faces this time around very different they confiscated telephones they said you're not even allowed to talk to adults and they try to prevent us from doing that now as members sometimes we're told that we get there and you try to talk to them I speak Spanish for example and we'll try to just talk to them in the corner and in this instance demanded we be allowed to speak to the detainees and just heard their stories and their cries for help and let me tell you why it's so critically important that members of Congress be able to speak to the detainees because what you hear from officials on the guided tour what they want you to see and what they tell you is very different then when you start speaking to the detainees we have had instances where they tell you they're getting plenty of diapers are getting this but when you talk to the women to the mothers they will show you rashes from their children they will tell you they're not getting enough diapers they will tell you they're not getting the medical care that that we're being told that they're getting and so you can see photos of them show you toothbrush and diapers that doesn't mean it's getting to the detainees or that they're being treated in a fair and dignified manner so that they can get a shower and they can be clean we saw people who had not been cleaned who had not showered several months ago it was days on end and it's disturbing everybody in that this country should be outraged about how we are treating women and families and children and people who are escaping violence coming here for asylum which is legal in the United States well on Capitol Hill House lawmakers heard heart-wrenching testimony Wednesday from the Guatemalan mother of a toddler who died after she became sick in an ice Jail near the us-mexico border Yasmin Juarez says her 18 month-old daughter Maria was healthy when she brought her to the US in March seeking political asylum but one week after the pair were jailed at the South Texas family residential center in Dili Texas the girl developed a cough diarrhea and vomiting with a fever that spiked at a hundred and four degrees Waris says her daughter received inadequate medical care and a clinic set up in the center's gymnasium after their release huarez rushed her daughter to the emergency room she spent six weeks in hospital before she died of complications from a deadly lung infection during her testimony Horace explained how she was treated by immigration officials the interview the ice immigration official asked me why for what reason I had come to the United States I responded that I had come for my child's future but they practically didn't let us talk and he said in these words you know this country is for Americans that Donald Trump is my president and that we can take your daughter away from you and lock you in jail and I remember I just started to cry because I really didn't have any words to respond to them to me that is mistreatment I'm here today because I don't want any more little angels to suffer the way my dear did the way I am now I don't want any more mother's or Father's to lose children it can't be so hard for a country like the United States to protect children and this is more of what Yasmin Huaraz told lawmakers on Wednesday all the hard work of these doctors came too late my Maria died on Mother's Day on the day that in my city in my country we celebrate Mother's Day when I left the hospital that day all I had with me was a piece of paper with Maria's handprints in pink paint that the staff had created for me it was the only thing that I had left just her handprints the nurses had made it the previous day as a Mother's Day gift there are days I just want to give up because for me it is very very hard to see so many children and for none of them to be my daughter and to think that I will never see her again or hug her or enjoy being with her or tell her just how much I love her for me that is very hard you have no idea how hard it is to move forward without my little girl they tore out a piece of my heart they tore out my soul and now I am suffering and it is difficult for me to get up and move forward I wanted a better future for her to work hard and get ahead so that she could keep growing the way that she was I can't do that now I can't do that because she is gone so that was the asmin Horace speaking to lawmakers on Wednesday about her daughter who died just after being released from detention now last year in the last year six children have died in custody and of course this little girl died just after she was released and before last year no child died in a decade so a congresswoman could you comment on what's been happening in these facilities and why so many children have died well first it's absolutely heartbreaking to hear the account of Miss Juarez yesterday and her daughter and this is what should move our lawmakers in our country to act so that they are not treated inhumanely it's just an outrage we you know I'm almost speechless for words on what's happening when you see the pattern of how these children are being treated when you see that Flores decision where when children are being held longer than the 72 hours when you hear the words of those in the administration about deterrence and how they're trying to deter it's hard it's hard not to think that this is being done in a situation in manner to make it as difficult as possible as painful as possible on how these children and how these families are being treated to try to deter people and it's outrageous we should not ever resort to violating human rights and practices to try to deter people from coming to this country and that is what this administration has been focused on it's the anti-immigration agenda it's finding ways to deter people and so they're slowing down the process and that's why we have so many people right now in these prison-like conditions they're turning people away of ports of entry and that alone is killing people because then their desperation when they're waiting in Mexico which is violent and people are experiencing just horrific situations there they then come and travel between the ports of entry some of them are ending up in the in the Rio and dying um but in its facilities when they get to this country and they're in these detention centers they're not getting the treatment that they need and they're not being processed it out quickly enough part of that I believe is because of the administration's slowdown in processing people we need to get more immigration judges we also we need to invest in alternatives to detention and this is something the administration has cut back on they would rather jail people and house people children and families instead of allowing them to be reunited with their families here in the states we know that they have said that and I the result has been overcrowding the result have been that people are being they're getting sick and then they're gonna die I said that months ago when I saw the situation firsthand I walked out of there and I said people will die if this continues you cannot put sick children in room with other sick children it's going to spread so is common sense so Congress over let me ask you about the growing rift the increasingly public dispute between how Speaker Nancy Pelosi and four freshman congresswoman who are known as the squad Alexandre Castel Cortes Rasheeda Talib Ilhan Omar and Ayanna Presley Pelosi recently told the New York Times all these people have their public whatever and their Twitter world but they didn't have any following therefore people and that's how many votes they got yesterday Alexander Castro Cortez told The Washington Post when these comments first started I kind of thought she was keeping the progressive flank at more of an arm's distance in order to protect more moderate members which I understood but the persistent singling out it got to a point where it was just outright disrespectful the explicit singling out of newly elected women of color can we get your response to this because certainly it is intensified over the whole issue of immigration yes there's there's a lot of tension going on certainly when the House supplemental bill came up versus the Senate supplemental bill came out we were fighting to get provisions guardrails and provisions in there so that we could have some accountability and some oversight when you're just handing out a blank check it doesn't feel good and then you see what's happening at the border and it only then intensifies why we were fighting so hard to get these provisions in and these guardrails as I like to call them and and so this is that has been the result of some you know disagreement within the party on whether you give a blank check whether you put the guardrails in there or not eat I did not support in the end the Senate's version of the bill because it had no oversight provisions it didn't have the very critical things that we needed as just a first step and so this is gonna be an ongoing issue absolutely let me ask you about your response to congressman Burke Accio Cortez calling for the Department of Homeland Security to be dismantled here she's being interviewed by the New Yorker magazine editor-in-chief David Remnick and he asked her if she if DHS should be abolished I think so I think so I think we need to undo a lot of the egregious a lot of the egregious mistakes that the Bush administration did I feel like we are at a very very qualified and supported position at least in terms of evidence and in terms of being able to make the argument that we never should have created DHS and the early 2000s congressman Bob argon do you agree do you feel the Department of Homeland Security should be abolished I you know I happen to sit on the committee for Homeland Security and Homeland Security is really big and I think that is the problem it oversees everything from the Secret Service all FEMA rescue and recovery it does human trafficking it does you know CBP officers at the ports of entry airports and seaports they're protecting this country from terrorist threats so it is very big and within that you then have ice and you have enforcement happening and so there's there does need to be serious look at how do we restructure this how do we break this up how do we make it so that it's not so big and unmanageable and we have seen that in various hearings in homeland security on the inability to see this really large agency it's the largest law enforcement agency that does so many factors so there are I have serious concerns with enforcement and ice right now and I think we certainly need a look at how do we fix these success systemic problems and how do we restructure it so that it's not what it is now which is a lot of abuses of people's rights and violations of human rights at the border and finally the raids that apparently are about to take place president Trump threatened them several weeks ago and now it's being said the New York Times is reporting Sunday major immigration raids that people will be picked up who may be just in the area in ten major cities can you tell us what more you know I mean as a congress member you have oversight do you know about this in places like in your home state in California and Los Angeles well we had a call the Hispanic Caucus had a call about three four weeks ago when the first reports were out that these were going to happen we had a call with officials from homeland security about these reports they wouldn't confirm or deny that they were going to happen which to me led me to believe that they were going to happen they wouldn't confirm or deny locations but what they did say was exactly what's being reported that they have targeted enforcement operations however they are going to pick up anybody along the way who they encounter and this is a problem because this is why we have a funding issue this is why there is so much disorganization within that department because there is no more priorities instead of focusing on violent felons they're focusing on everybody and when you don't have no focus it makes it that more challenging so I am telling constituents to be alert know your rights so important right now that we go out and we tell people about resources to know their rights and not open the door and to making sure that we're all vigilant it's deeply concerning and troubling that the president and this administration are continuing to cause fear in our communities which it's making it and do you agree with Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti who in the last threat of these deportation raids said on Twitter no Angelino should ever have to fear being snatched from their home or separated from their loved ones we are doing everything we can to provide immigrant families with info and support ahead of the announced ice deportation sweeps saying that the local authorities will not cooperate with ice do you say the same that the local authorities in California should not cooperate with ice around these deportation rates I do agree I do agree with the mayor on this and we have to make sure that we are conveying this message to to our communities right now that we stand with them you know ice is a federal agency and until they have until until they have a better system in place and right now they have nothing complete disorganization we're gonna continue to stand firm on this this is wrong and we are going to give as much information as we can to our immigrant and migrant family members and community members it's pretty devastating to see the fear that's being caused finally Nanette Barragan you're a well-known ballplayer in Washington as in baseball softball member of the House Committee on Homeland Security but also I wanted to ask you about the women's soccer team they're enormous second win and the chance that went on yesterday through the Canyon of Heroes at the ticker-tape parade yes they said USA and they added thousands of specifically girls equal pay your thoughts on this and what Congress can do I think it's so great to see the women go out there and win and I'm totally behind the effort of equal pay you know I'm well as you alluded to I'm one of the two women in Congress who play on the men's baseball team we need to be on the same level get paid the same be treated the same I'm so proud of women's soccer and what they're doing right now to be the inspiration for young girls across this country and so I'm so glad to see that we're going to continue the fight in Congress for equal pay that is something that is impacting commutes a color at a disproportionate rate as well so we have a lot of work to do and we need everybody on our team including the u.s. women's soccer to to stand with us and they are at the forefront of this fight and of course the women's soccer team is headed to the Capitol they haven't been invited to the White House by President Trump even though they're the winningest soccer team but Nancy Pelosi has invited them we'll cover that but when we come back we're going to look at what the US Women's Soccer World Cup win means for equal pay and for the future of title 9 stay with us you

44 Replies to ““Unconscionable & Unacceptable”: Rep. Barragán Decries Detention of Migrant Children in Prison Cells”

  1. We are one and only one step away from having death camps instead of just concentration camps. People are dying in the concentration camps and our government is trying to manufacture consent for migrants to die. We forced them to cross the border in the desert where many of them die. We put them in overcrowded concentration camps where illnesses spread rapidly and people die. If we get used to it just being a fact of reality that migrants die, the next step is to actively kill them. The government has already succeeded in large part at convincing people to only care about children and sometimes women with the, "what about the children," argument that has been used for decades. We need to get to the point where we value human lives, men, women, and children because, if we don't, the chances that we will have death camps become a near certainty.

  2. This is the new holocaust and we as americans will be held responsible for not overpowering these detention centers to free these people. Our complacency will be justification for the rest of the world to hope for and enable our demise.

  3. Trump is nothing more than a criminal, rogue, political tyrant who has been undermining democratic principles since the day of his inauguration! SHAMEFUL THAT HE HAS BEEN ALLOWED TO CONTINUE HIS CRIMINAL BEHAVIOUR AS PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES! People of the United States, please redeem yourself and depose this sociopath!

  4. It’s about time this dictator is stopped! It’s the biggest shame that it might have to be international law to bring this tyrant and his cohorts are brought down!! The Senate and House need to do their jobs and put a check on this malignant man that brings us to this!! We need a million people to march in Washington with one voice saying NO MORE!!! Silence is the way Hitler took over ..we must speak up!!!!

  5. So Russia Russia Russia fell through as bullshit and sloppy Daniels bullshit did not work .you tried the kids in cages shit and turned out that was Obama 2014. It's just constant garbage from the left to try and create controversy and you always lose

  6. It didn't dawn on me until just now that the Trump Concentration Camps (LLC) are designed for people to die. The horror of conditions and the slow down is designed to passively kill immigrants. Congress (D&R) are doing nothing but talking…business of killing people as usual.

  7. mafiaDon&pricPence &mafiaCabinet is doing this kidnapping of foreignNationals just like the gestapo did to polish&French etc. jews or any opposition without papers without Trials….

  8. This is completely unacceptable, I am told Rudolf Hoss can fix all of these problems in short order. The injustice is completely intentional. One wonders if the German citizenry made these same kinds of useless mouth noises while the camps were being filled. Some historical comparison would be interesting.

  9. We might need some antifa to shutdown these weak ass nazi concentration camps. Anarchist for back up and 50 million Americans citizens on the march. We outnumber them. We won’t even have to fire a shot. All we need is a plan.

  10. The "squad" has a lot more than 4 votes. Nancy Pelosi is destroying the Democratic Party in the name of some sort of capitalist purity she continually fails to define. Pelosi is the loose cannon, not the "squad." She needs to be eliminated in a primary so the House can move on from rich donor domination.

  11. Why R Laws that R on the books not being enforced? Why have laws if they R only selectively enforced? Who in our country should B enforcing these laws? Why aren't they? Blessings, Love is the answer

  12. Wow … is this another liberal actor put on the stage to further a liberal agenda? I want to see pics of her and her daughter in the detention center. (Not the studio pic showed here) I want to see how healthy this child was when she arrived, how sick she was when she was transferred to the hospital where the child was declared dead, what the mom was doing and how she acted. I want the video of this entire event. I want the DNA test proving this woman was the mother of that child. Shocking that I would be so distrustful of liberals … There is a lot that is taken for granted in this incident (and probably other incidents too). I've seen how far the libs will go to make their point and it is usually disgusting beyond words.

  13. Nancy Pelosi must own stock in these "for profit" detention concentration camps!!! Yay AOC, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren….. Blessings, Love is the answer

  14. It is very obvious that the United States has created concentration camps for these people. The lack of any kind of real care for children and adults is the same picture we saw in the 30s and 40s in Nazi Germany. The United States has become a sickening and despicable country. The only way to change this is to get the far right fascists out of government, out of Congress, out of the Senate and out of the White House.

  15. Everyone in the country won't get mad because many in the country get aroused by the tales of illegal immigrants suffering and killed. They vicariously live through the brutality

  16. So the 4.6 billion dollars of emergency funds for humanitarian aid will now fund more torture, and tyranny. Wholesale violations of the rule of law and the constitution for what? So a bunch of old white men can destroy what little is left of America? Lying criminal, serial woman abuser, dictatorial tyrant in charge. This is beyond appalling. Most of one side of my family were slaughtered or wasted away in conditions like these. We are all immigrants. Those who are native to this land know the brutality of genocide, just like this is. This feels like the end of Democracy. It is sickening. That this monster and his sycophants are allowed to walk free to do more harm. It is beyond anything that a free country can abide. I have never felt more ashamed of my country or more helpless against what is clearly violating everything this country used to stand for.

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