In a recent article for The Center for Investigative Reporting, Rachel Bale, delivers a horrifying report revealing that the US Border Patrol is detaining undocumented boarder crossers in “the freezers”.
Undocumented immigrants crossing the borders into the United States is certainly not new news. The rights and wrongs of that issue have been debated back and forth for a very long time; I am not interested in hashing that out, yet again. I do, however, want to spread awareness of the resulting injustice of detaining border crossers in “the freezers” and other horrors happening right now at our borders.
It is unthinkable that this is happening in 2013 in The United States of America:
“Las hieleras, or “the freezers,” is how immigrants and some Border Patrol agents refer to the chilly holding cells at many stations along the U.S.-Mexico border. The facilities are used to house recently captured border crossers until they can be transferred to a long-term Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention facility, returned to their native country or released until their immigration hearing.
According to interviews and court documents, many immigrants have been held for days in rooms kept at temperatures so low that men, women and children have developed illnesses associated with the cold, lack of sleep, overcrowding, and inadequate food, water and toilet facilities.”
The article goes on to report the these claims have been verified and that the Customs and Border Protection own policies are being violated. The problem is believed to be under-reported and the few lawmakers that have shown interest have so far not been able to really bring this injustice to an end. The rest of the article gives details of heartbreaking stories of real people this has really happened to, and it is certainly worth your time to read it all.
We know that the people crossing our borders must be looking for what they hope will be a better life, brighter future, and opportunites that they could not find in their home countries. People from Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala, the Philippines, Honduras, Korea, China, Brazil, Ecuador, and India cross our borders seeking hope and shamefully we slam our door in their faces.
“Do not mistreat or oppress a foreigner…” Exodus 22:21
This cause is near and dear to God’s heart, and that means we can not ignore it and hope it will just go away. Call or write to your state representatives, let them know you want border crossing injustice to end and that you want them to take a stand against it. Here is a directory where they are all listed. To get involved in an even more tangible way check out Border Servant Corps, an organization that provides opportunities for volunteers to learn and teach about social justice and work toward systemic change, right on the U.S. / México border.
We can help stop this injustice.
Let’s start now.