The Migrant Crisis
I thought that we should have a dedicated area to post about the migrant crisis in the US since so much is happening right now.
I think we may be entering a turning point right now regarding this horrible situation and these poor children. First the chilling photo of a father and toddler who drowned at the boarder after being turned away at the boarder was published today. That photo speaks volumes. Second, this interesting news just popped up on my news feed and I find it very well almost amazing. People are apparently tired of feeling helpless regarding how migrant children are been treated at detention centers and a group of workers at Wayfair has decided to make they voices heard.
This is a must read article and it actually makes me really proud of the workers for uniting and standing up and doing something. Here is a portion of the article from Vox.
-Employees at the home goods retailer Wayfair are staging a walkout after discovering what they believe is a large order of bedroom furniture the company fulfilled for a contractor that works with facilities detaining children near the US-Mexico border.
According to a letter signed by almost 550 employees, Wayfair has sold $200,000 worth of furniture to a nonprofit organization called BCFS. An order from BCFS was surfaced in the company’s Slack (a group chat platform) last week, and concerns began circulating when employees looked into the organization’s mission.
As per the organization’s website, BCFS “partners with government agencies, corporations, non-profits, and community leaders to develop programs and service models that combat challenges in health and human services.” In 2018, the New York Times reported that BCFS “has received at least $179 million in federal contracts since 2015 under the government’s so-called unaccompanied alien children program, designed to handle migrant youths who arrive in the country without a parent or other family member.”
The furniture, according to the employee letter, was sent to a facility opening in Carrizo Springs, Texas, that will be “outfitted to detain up to 3,000 migrant children.” These kinds of facilities have come under increasing scrutiny and condemnation as reports about appalling conditions emerge. (BCFS did not respond to request for comment as of publication time.)
The original employee letter also requested that Wayfair “cease all current and future business with ... contractors participating in operation of migrant detention camps” and to “establish a code of ethics for B2B sales that empowers Wayfair and its employees to act in accordance with our core values.”
Wayfair co-founder Steve Conine held a meeting with employees this afternoon to discuss their concerns.
An employee said someone asked Conine if the company could meet those demands, and Conine responded that he couldn’t give the answer they wanted to hear. He also reportedly said that he was personally opposed to the detention centers, though he did not agree they should be called concentration camps, to which employees responded in unison, “Yes they are.” (This whole account was corroborated by the second employee Vox spoke to, who was also present at the meeting.)
“There’s been a lot of comparisons internally comparing us to IBM in the mid-1930s, and we don’t want to be IBM,” said the employee. (IBM assisted Hitler in taking census counts, which were used to identify Jews in Germany.) “We weren’t necessarily looking to drag Wayfair through the mud. This is not the opinion of the entire group, but now that it’s out there, honestly I’m glad it is. People need to know about this.”
More can be found here. Looks like a walk-out is about to happen. I think this has the potential to spread. This is good news. The topic will stay in the news. People across the nation support this action. I believe we may see a domino effect. They are light workers.
Democracy Now posted a shocking story about horrific conditions in a children-only facilities. It is beyond belief. Children who haven't been allowed to wash or shower for weeks, served uncooked frozen food that is still frozen, over crowded, malnourished children, unsanitary conditions, two year olds with no diapers and babies being cared for by young children.
This is appears to be Bluebelle's prediction coming true, only it remains to be seen whether the Republican Party and its membership will have a reaction.
- "Basically, what we saw are dirty children who are malnourished, who are being severely neglected. They are being kept in inhumane conditions. They are essentially being warehoused, as many as 300 children in a cell, with almost no adult supervision.
- We have children caring for other young children. For example, we saw a little boy in diapers — or he had no diapers on. He should have had a diaper on. He was 2 years old. And when I was asked why he didn't have diapers on, I was told he didn't need it.
- He immediately urinated. And he was in the care of another child. Children cannot take care of children, and yet that's how they are trying to run this facility. The children are hardly being fed anything nutritious, and they are being medically neglected.
- We're seeing a flu outbreak, and we're also seeing a lice infestation. It is — we have children sleeping on the floor. It's the worst conditions I have ever witnessed in several years of doing these inspections."
Has anyone come across any articles explaining concrete steps we as individuals can follow in order to take a stand against the border concentration camps? Are there reliable charities we can donate to? Citizens groups we can join? I don't know where to start, and there are probably millions more Americans like me.
Some great charities that you can donate to-that have been working for years with migrant/immigration and asylum rights in the vulnerable populations in TX, CA, and FL are Raices, the TX ACLU, and newly formed Together Rising. Keep calling and mailing your reps, Nadler, and Pelosi. There is a vigil slated July 12th- called Lights for Liberty. Many of these charities are participating in El Paso, DC, NY and Homestead, FL. But there are ways to participate locally and even all by yourself. I agree we can not allow this to become just another news story in a string of horrible new stories. We can not become desensitized-these children's lives and their parents' lives depend on our ( as a nation) speaking up and refusing to go along with this atrocity.
Shawn has done a wonderful job listing things you can do. There are demonstrations on July 12 in D.C., Foley Square in NYC, and Homestead Florida. Also you can write to The Hague, since this is an international crime. I wrote to my reps and to Nancy Pelosi. I am thoroughly disgusted. I also wrote to The Hague and to Anderson Cooper and David Muir - this should be the top story. I'm glad Mueller is testifying, we all know Donald Trump is a jerk and denies raping anyone, but this needs to be tops. I believe I have listed links, etc., on Situation Unraveling for Trump, on that board.
Here is a direct link to the Lights For Liberty event on July 12th. There are over 130 cities in Canada and the US participating. I was sooooo excited to see that Phoenix was listed. I will be joining the event in my city. Here we go!
I am so very grateful for this community. For being able to come together and find light in dark times. To find ways to be light in dark times.
Do we have a prediction on this??? I think we might.
Thank you for telling us! I just shared the event on FB and donated to a local safe home near our state's detention center for those who get released or family members who travel to find their love ones.
Unfortunately I will be flying that night. Perhaps I will see all the lights from the sky!!!
Thanks for opening this topic and for the links. I want to do whatever I can to help. I went to bed last night, haunted with images of these children, alone, hungry, terrified. I hugged my pillow, imagining myself with my arms wrapped around the children, cradling them to sleep. I woke up this morning, hoping that all of this had been a bad dream. I know many of us predicted that things would get really bad. I also know that sometimes what we see ends up not being as bad as what we were expecting. I so wish that were true now.
I wish that I believed in a physical hell – fire, pitchforks, the whole thing. I’d wish all of that and more on the perpetrators of this vile, inhumane, violent treatment of these children. At this moment, I don’t know what to do with my anger. I’m holding back saying what I’m truly thinking about these perpetrators.
People have been trying to make contributions so that these children can get the care they need, but they’re being turned away. An immigration official stated that they already have sufficient supplies and resources, so they don’t need anything. If that’s true, then this is deliberate, or to be charitable – which I’m not feeling at the moment – totally incompetent. But it is deliberate; how can you see this playing out before you, and not immediately respond?
I don’t hold out much hope that the Rethugs will rise to the occasion. Apparently nothing can sicken or move them enough to do the right thing. That will only happen if the people in their particular districts or states wake up from their fog, open their eyes and demand justice. It comes down to getting reelected; also $$$. The Rethugs have lost their moral compass. Incredulously Congressman Burgess told Chris Hayes: “There’s not a lock on the door. Any child is free to leave at any time, but they don’t. You know why? Because they are well taken care of.” What an unbelievably stupid statement. Also, Burgess was talking about a different detention facility; that one does have locks, and when children have tried to leave by climbing over fences, law enforcement has been alerted. And the reason why these children are in these centers in the first place is because they were involuntarily separated from their parents or relatives.
Some of the Rethugs and T supporters’ excuses are now surfacing, stating that the Obama administration had the same policy of family separation. Besides being totally irrelevant to what’s happening now, it’s untrue. The Obama administration put children in facilities if they were traveling alone, or if they were in danger from the people who were accompanying them. Their ultimate goal was to get these kids out of these centers as soon as possible. They didn’t do it perfectly, but their intention was without malice -- with compassion.
Early on Sessions and Kelly crowed about using the Fuhrer’s family separation policy as a deterrent. No heart. Where did their souls go? I’ve got to stop saying “this isn’t my country.” This is my country.
I'm praying that the predictions about photos taken inside these concentration camps will materialize. I did hear Congresswoman Escobar comment that some of the immigration workers at these facilities are having a very hard time doing their jobs -- it's killing them emotionally. Perhaps one of those workers will do the courageous thing?
I was feeling pretty depressed this morning over the migrant crisis, and my angels/guides came to my rescue through technology. I went into Outlook and opened a new email from a spiritual writer I subscribe to, John Pavlovitz. I came upon John by accident, in much the same way I found this wonderful community. In case you haven’t heard of Pavlovitz, here’s a bit about his background: raised Catholic, slowly drifted away, eventually becoming a Methodist minister and then youth minister with a Baptist church. He gradually realized that he had to often censor his speech and wasn’t being himself. Pavlovitz had huge issues with both churches' theological convictions, especially relating to gender and sexuality. Eventually he was fired for, as he puts it, “not fitting in.”
Pavlovitz began writing, posting and eventually developed a global congregation. I love this quotation from him:
“I hear that nagging question you hear: Am I losing my mind? I’m here to tell you: You’re not. The despair you feel, the urgency, the frustration means that your heart is doing what a heart is supposed to do. You are the kind of people the world needs right now. Yes, it’s disheartening, but there is reason for hope. It’s why you hold tightly to that unrest in times when the world seems upside down. It’s time you need to lean into that internal disturbance. It’s why you can’t make peace with the madness that you see.”
Here are a couple of John’s articles, one recent, the other from December 2018:
I have followed John on FB for a long time. He is a comfort and challenges us as well as the administration.
The migrant crisis is really global. While we are not the only nation mishandling it, I think our errors are unforced--our President's policies are making a bad situation much much worse.
By now some of you may have heard about ProPublica's article about the secret border patrol Facebook group. Other newspapers have written about it as well. Deeply disturbing. I know that some on this site have predicted that horrific things would come to light regarding the migrants -- as if what we have already seen and heard isn't bad enough:
I follow John Pavlovitz too, having discovered him after the 2016 election. His writing resonates with me and he pulls no punches in addressing the hypocrisy of the Evangelical cult. He’s a wonderful Christian writer who addresses all the blasphemy of the religious right and the difficulties of living in America today.
@bluebelle, I agree about Pavlovitz. He also has a wicked sense of humor, which I love.
"Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that."
--Martin Luther King Jr.
Wishing you all a peaceful and light-filled Independence Day.