Immigrants in the United States have been going through a very tough time, especially the ones that spend their days crowded in a cage like area with other immigrants. Videos have come out to the media showing the way that little children sleep with thin aluminum blankets and men gathered telling the reporters that they have not had enough food to eat and water to drink. It’s very heartbreaking to see parents being separated and sent back to their country and have to leave their children in the United States. A way to resolve this problem would be to reunite families back together. In this essay, I will be arguing that immigration camps should be fully shut down due to the terrible living conditions that the immigrants are put in and the high suicide rates and isolation that occur inside the camp.
The first reason that immigrants should be reunited with their children and families is because of the terrible living conditions that they go through. Adam Serwer, a staff writer of The Atlantic, said, “ It was difficult to move in any direction without jostling and being jostled.” They are given thin blankets but not enough hygiene products in order to keep clean. The children also together in a cement floor without their mothers. He also mentions that the ICE Officers don’t do anything to clean up the filth inside the camps. Serwer also compares the conditions of the current camp to the camp that used to hold Confederate prisoners. He quotes James McPherson, a historian who said, “13,000 of the 45,000 men imprisoned “died of disease, exposure, or malnutrition.” (McPherson par. 2). Henry Wirz, the warden of the prison during the Confederate War was arrested in 1865 and was accused of intending to “impair and injure the health and to destroy the lives [of the prisoners], by subjecting [them] to torture and great suffering by confining in unhealthy and unwholesome quarters.” (McPherson par.3). This should be able to show people why keeping immigrants insides camps in unethical and dangerous. Another situation that immigrants are put through is the food given to the men, women, and children. The food that is given to them is said to be inedible. Serwer got an actual confession from a person inside the camp saying that “The water provided them was foul,” of a dark color.” He also states “ Our ration was in a quality a starving one, it being either too foul to be touched or too raw to be digested” (Serwer par.1). Hamed Aleaziz, a BuzzFeed news reporter, states, “ There was little access to hot showers or hot food for families and children in some facilities.” He also said that, “At two facilities, children and families did not have hot meals until the week the inspectors arrived” (Aleaziz par.1). Jonathan M. Katz, a journalist for The Los Angeles Times, explains that, “In the last year, at least seven migrant children have died in the federal custody.” And if no changes are made anytime soon by reuniting and closing the camps, more innocent men, women and children will continue to die under federal custody.
The second reason for the closing would be that camps are also having a problem with the high suicide count that they have in their hands. Renuka Rayasam, a POLITICO based health care reporter states that, “ One estimate puts the number of detainees with mental illnesses between 3,000 and 6,000.” Another statement that she has was that, “Detainees had made nouses from bed sheets in 15 of 20 cells in the facility they visited” (Rayasam par.1). Katz also says, “ Memos surfaced by journalist Ken Klippenstein revealed that Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s failure to provide medical care was responsible for suicides and other deaths of detainees” (Katz par. 15). Due to all the suicides that have occured, Rayasam also states that, “Many of the migrants with mental illness are not stable enough to participate in their own legal proceedings, so they languish in detention.” Suicide isn’t the only problem that immigrants go through. Immigrants who are transgender or who have a mental illness are also kept isolated from all the other immigrants. Another difficulty that the migrant children is that “The Trump administration cut funding for classes, recreation and legal aid at detention centers holding minors”(Katz par. 3). He also says that “Months after being torn from their parent’s arms, 37 children were locked in vans for up to 39 hours in the parking lot of a detention center…” (Katz. par.3) This is proof that shows the maltreatment that innocent children go through when they get separated from their parents and while they wait inside the camps.
A solution that could help keep families together while still keeping an eye on the immigrants would be to keep them under community supervision. Alexia Fernandez Campbell, a politics and policy reporter for VOX explains that community supervision is a “Nonprofit group or government contractor provides families with social workers who help them find housing and transportation.” Another idea that is suggested by Campbell would be to “release immigrants with electronic monitoring, which generally involves placing GPS ankle monitors on adults and assigning them caseworkers” (Campbell par. 8). This would allow them to be reunited with their family members and their children wouldn’t have to live with other family members or be sent to foster care with unknown people. Social workers that would be assigned to each immigrant that was in the camp would also be able to supervise them outside of the jail. The mothers with children would also be able to get the care that they needed from the asylum while being checked on with no problem. The article also says that, “The contractor that ran the program said that 99 percent of participants “successfully attended their court appearances and ICE check ins” (Campbell par. 15). This goes to show that the immigrants would want to follow the rules in order to try to stay in the United States.
In conclusion, the camps should be shut down due to terrible conditions that they’re going through daily. Even while being held, they should still be able to get the necessities that they need before they are sent back to their country or while they stay inside for asylum. Social workers could also make sure that they follow the rules in order to go through the immigration process. Innocent children shouldn’t have to die alone where they have access to medical care that could easily help them. They shouldn’t have to get so many terrible maltreatments while they wait for their fate in this country.
Aleaziz, Hamed. “Investigators Found Immigrant Kids And Families Locked In Disgusting Conditions In Border Camps.” BuzzFeed News, BuzzFeed News, 26 June 2019, http://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/hamedaleaziz/inspector-disgusting-conditions-border-migrants-children.
Campbell, Alexia Fernández. “Reminder: Trump Doesn’t Need to Keep Migrants in Detention Camps.” Vox, Vox, 4 July 2019, http://www.vox.com/2019/7/4/20681298/trump-migrant-detention-camps-alternatives.
Katz, Jonathan M. “Op-Ed: Call Immigrant Detention Centers What They Really Are: Concentration Camps.” Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Times, 9 June 2019, http://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-katz-immigrant-concentration-camps-20190609-story.html.
Rayasam, Renuka. “Migrant Mental Health Crisis Spirals in ICE Detention Facilities.” POLITICO, 21 July 2019, http://www.politico.com/story/2019/07/21/migrant-health-detention-border-camps-1424114.
Serwer, Adam. “A Crime by Any Name.” The Atlantic, Atlantic Media Company, 5 July 2019, http://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2019/07/border-facilities/593239/.