WACO, Texas – On July 2 in Waco and across the country, protesters gathered to call attention to the conditions of border detention centers.
“I think there is a huge humanitarian crisis at the border. I think it is unconscionable they way we are dealing with the issue that we have,” says Kris Cervantes, minister of the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Waco.
The Waco Immigrants Alliance organized a protest on Tuesday afternoon to call for better care for migrants crossing the U.S. border.
They also take issue with the controversial family separation policy for parents and their children crossing into the U.S. illegally.
“How can we possibly sit back in 2019 and know that little babies are being torn from their mother’s arms? Knowing how that is going to affect them for the rest of their lives?,” says physician Dr. Iliana Nuemann.
Photos of the overcrowded processing center in McAllen were released from the Office of the Inspector General at the Department of Homeland Security on Tuesday. Some physicians at the border have also come forward to say they were prevented from providing basic human needs to migrants.
“Since the family separations have started, they’ve cried everyday at work. And their nurses would say, ‘Hey, it’s time to come see the next patient.’ And they would say, ‘Just give me a minute,'” says physician Dr. TJ Webb.
The Inspector General says DHS needs to address the dangerous conditions and prolonged detention of migrants.
“We are Texans and we know the value of having a vibrant and diverse culture, and we know what it is to take in those who need help. We are a very generous people and I don’t understand why we are being so ungenerous right now,” Cervantes says.
FOX44 reached out to Republican Representative Bill Flores for comment. His office released this statement:
“Yesterday, President Trump signed the Emergency Supplemental Appropriations for Humanitarian Assistance and Security at the Southern Border Act, 2019. I voted for this overwhelmingly bipartisan legislation because it immediately provides $4.59 billion in emergency funding for the Departments of Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, Defense, and Justice to address the burgeoning illegal immigrant population at our southern border. This emergency funding includes the urgent resources needed to deliver comprehensive care and services for migrants and unaccompanied children.Rep. Bill Flores
“We are a nation of immigrants and we are a nation of laws. Closing detention centers and decriminalizing illegal border crossings is not a solution to fix the crisis at the border. These irresponsible actions will instead encourage more illegal immigration and place further burdens on American taxpayer resources.
“The root problems of our immigration, humanitarian and border security crises are not the fault of the Trump administration, rather they are solely the result of weaknesses in current law. Only Congress can fix them by enacting 21st century immigration and border security policies. Going forward, Congress must work on solutions that ultimately secure our border and reform our broken immigration system to reverse these crises and protect the safety and security of hardworking American families. Congress must put hardworking families ahead of politics and address these crises in a bipartisan manner. Every day of delay hurts American families, keeps the American economy from reaching its full potential, keeps Dreamers in the shadows, causes pain and suffering at the border, and weakens our national security.”
(R) District 17