For over a year now, the United States Department of Homeland Security’s Customs and Border Protection has detained foreigners attempting to enter the United States through the country’s border with Mexico en masse. Rather than holding them for a few days and sending them back to where they came from, which is what used to be done, CBP agents have packed these migrants into – more or less – clandestine-quality detention facilities like sardines.
These migrants have long been held for many weeks at a time, far longer than they should be held, according to recommendations made by federal judges in the United States. further, children have systematically been separated from the adults who they attempted to cross into the United States alongside and thrown into their own detention facilities.
Reports of people who have visited these detention facilities have reported that they have very few amenities, such as very few beds, far fewer than one per person. CBP agents have often spread apart siblings, not allowing them to talk to one another for days or weeks at a time. Just like unruly prisoners – which these detained migrants don’t deserve to be – agents have even put some people in solitary confinement.
Many detainees don’t get to shower or bathe, at least not very often, by any stretch of the imagination. Further, the food that detainees have been fed has been likened to animal chow. Some food has even been said to be decomposing at the time that the detainees were served.
As if the conditions that these migrant detainees are being held under couldn’t get any worse, three or more – the full count hasn’t been confirmed just yet – migrant children that were being held in these makeshift detention centers have passed away as a result of not being treated for influenza.
In an interview with CNBC, Harvard University’s pediatric professor – one of them, at least – Dr. Jonathan Winickoff, claimed that children don’t often die from influenza. Dr. Winickoff went on to say that once he learned that not one, but multiple, kids had died from influenza without being treated, “it truly disturbed me.”
Despite these recent deaths, Customs and Border Protection won’t be vaccinating any of the children or adults who are currently held at such detention facilities, despite the fact that the flu season is just around the corner.
Johns Hopkins University’s Dr. Joshua Sharfstein and Dr. Paul Spiegel joined up with Dr. Winickoff to inform the public and legislators that, even though only one in 600,000 kids die from influenza in the United States, three children of the 200,000-odd total detainees have died as a result of influenza, the trio wrote in an open letter to United States Congress.
They all believe that the United States needs to do something very quickly about the migrant situation on the Mexico-United States border. Don’t you?