Thousands of people protest the “inhuman” treatment of detained migrants

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People participate in a protest on Tuesday calling for the closure of migrant detention centers in Richardson, Texas (United States). EFE / Larry W. Smith

Thousands of people joined more than 180 protests across the country Tuesday to demand the closure of immigrant detention centers and cancel the delivery of funds to the government of President Donald Trump to continue their harsh migration policies.

The demonstrations were held in front of federal government buildings and offices of legislators, both Democrats and Republicans, who returned to their regions on the occasion of the July 4 holiday, to close some detention centers that many describe as “concentration camps”. “

“The situation inside the camps and detention centers is totally inhuman, they are torturing families and children and we must act now!”, Said the director of the Families Belong Together Coalition group, Sandra Cordero.

In addition to the immediate closure of these centers and the release of thousands of immigrants, both adults and children, activists are asking lawmakers not to approve more funds for the Border Patrol (CBP) and the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Service (ICE). , responsible for implementing Trump’s policies.

“In September, Congress is going to vote again on the budget, and we need to tell our legislators that they should not give a penny to these agencies that are terrorizing immigrants,” Victoria Kaplan, MovenOn spokeswoman, told Efe. .

This group is the one behind a national protest call in which coalitions also participate that represent the undocumented youth who came to the country as children and those who work to avoid the repeated separations of children from their families once they cross the border. illegally.

The protesters carried signs in which they assured that “children deserve affection and not cages”, “Love knows no borders” or “Let us make America friendly again”, referring to the famous campaign slogan of the president: “Make America Great Again “(Let’s make America big again).

The protests come a day after Trump signed a $ 4.6 billion batch of assistance for the budgets of the various federal agencies that are saturated by the flow of thousands of migrants arriving each week to the Mexican border.

The funds were approved by the lower house, controlled by the Democrats, who “turned their backs” on a proposal for a similar version that also included protection for unaccompanied migrant children and restrictions on the use of funds by the government, he said. Lamb.

During visits to the legislators’ offices, they are asked to visit the detention centers and to be direct witnesses of what is happening in these places, as a group of Hispanic congressmen in Texas did on Monday.

“We need them to see with their own eyes what is happening,” activist Dlyn Parra, who participated in the protests in Tucson, Arizona, told Efe.

The Immigration and Customs Enforcement Service (ICE) reported on Monday the death of the eleventh undocumented person who lost his life in recent months when he was in federal custody. This is the Honduran Yimi Alexis Balderramos-Torres, 30, who died on June 18 in Texas.

The rallies in that state recalled on Tuesday the memory of the immigrant and the other Central Americans who died trying to cross the border, including seven children.

“We can not allow this to continue happening, we do not understand why they do not realize it,” said activist Gabriela Zavala, who participated in the protests in Brownsville, a border city between Texas and Mexico.

In California there were almost 30 calls to protest in front of the offices of Democratic and Republican lawmakers and in New York the claims came to the doors of the conservative congresswoman Elise Stefanik.

Congresswoman Democrat and Hispanic Congresswoman Xochitl Torres Small had to listen to the complaints in her office in Las Cruces, New Mexico, and Arizona Senator Martha McSally will have to do the same because the Mi Familia Vota organization has scheduled a series of petitions to the Republican, that re-election is played in 2020.

“This is the beginning, it is also a call for the voters to join and ask for an immediate solution and monitor the actions of their representatives,” Cordero insisted.

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