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The cages, chaos and desperation at US-Mexico border
Rep. Adams: It's ‘a scary kind of situation’
 
Published Thursday, August 8, 2019 1:56 pm
by Herbert L. White | The Charlotte Post

OFFICE OF U.S. REP. ALMA ADAMS
U.S. Rep. Alma Adams, D-N.C., toured federal and nonprofit immigrant facilities in El Paso, Texas and Mexico last week.

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The migration crisis on U.S.-Mexico border is getting any closer to resolution.


Rep. Alma Adams, who represents Charlotte in the House of Representatives, joined a delegation of 24 colleagues Aug. 1-2 to investigate the impact of the Trump administration’s immigration policies. The lawmakers toured migrant shelters and processing facilities in El Paso, Texas, and Ciudad Juarez, Mexico to review conditions and speak to migrants. They also visited centers run by nonprofit agencies that help migrants settle into the U.S.


While there wasn’t overcrowding that drew national attention earlier this year, undocumented migrants in the facilities Adams visited – most of them seeking asylum in America – were far from comfortable as they await deportation.


“It’s really locking people up like it’s jail,” she said. “There’s so much barbed wire and security. It can be a scary kind of situation, but I was happy to go and see and observe.”


While no one can give an accurate accounting of the number of undocumented migrants cross into the U.S. from Mexico, the Border Patrol arrested more than 688,000 at the southwest border from October 2018 to June. There were 303,000 the previous fiscal year, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection. The number of undocumented migrants being stopped at the border has dropped dramatically in recent weeks, but remain historically high. The drop in arrests is the result of the Mexican government agreeing to detain immigrants trying to get into the U.S.


Border apprehensions surged in May to 132,000, the highest level since 2006 and the first time arrests topped 100,000 since 2007. Among those taken into custody were 11,507 unaccompanied children. Crossing the southern border is dangerous, too. The UN Missing Migrants project reported 170 migrants died or are missing in 2019, including 13 children. Border Patrol reported 283 crossing deaths last year.


Adams and the congressional delegation met with people who are in the Migrant Protection Protocols, which the Department of Homeland Security describes as an initiative “whereby certain foreign individuals entering or seeking admission to the U.S. from Mexico – illegally or without proper documentation – may be returned to Mexico and wait outside of the U.S. for the duration of their immigration proceedings, where Mexico will provide them with all appropriate humanitarian protections for the duration of their stay.” Adams said detainees she talked with were distressed to be detained with the likelihood of being deported or shifted to other facilities.


“It tears you up to see the people in so much pain because they don’t know what’s going to happen to them in a strange place,” she said. “The shelter experience, for me, was one of the most impactful.”


Adams, who visited federal facility for men in Brownsville, Texas in 2017, said many of the detainees –who crossed the border from Honduras and Guatemala – were squeezed into spaces so tight, even sleeping proved a challenge.


“Many of them didn’t have real beds or things like that, so it’s not the best,” she said. “Then the emotional trauma you see.”


Adams acknowledged the buildup of asylum seekers on the border is a humanitarian crisis that the Trump administration should provide answers. Immigration has been politicized to a point that people looking to escape man-made and natural disasters have become pawns.  


“Most of them are seeking asylum,” Adams said. “They just want a better life, OK? They’re running from fear of harm in their country, so they travel and cross the line by any means necessary, really because they want a better life for their children. …We need better accountability and oversight for the Department of Homeland Security.”

Comments

Very well explained it.Thank you to good america
People that's paying attention to this issues. I do USA have laws We can't forget this is another human being like us that's is separated situation and do Not the opportunities we have And that's the reason they are risking their life to this detention. It must a better, decent and dignity way dignified way to treat this crisis.
Posted on August 8, 2019
 

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