How Bad Are These ICE Camps?


Saish Satyal, Editor

*This article represents the views of the writers, and does not necessarily reflect the views of Cistercian or the Informer staff*

It seems that the further we get into Donald Trump’s presidency, the wilder the news gets as well. We’ve come far from the 2016 debates comparing Trump to Hitler, but at the same time, we haven’t. Now, in 2019, the discussion has shifted to whether or not it’s a stretch to compare the institutions at our southern border to Hitler’s concentration camps. This debate started with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez comparing the detention centers at our southern border to concentration camps, which are most often associated with Adolf Hitler and the Nazi regime. Her use of this terminology and the phrase “Never Again,” a phrase commonly associated with the atrocities of the Holocaust, has caused a significant split in America. However, former Nuremberg prosecutor Ben Ferencz was able to give these camps an accurate name without causing the debate that AOC has: “A crime against humanity.”¹

While these are harsh words, they are words that are hard to argue against. There seems to be a constant stream of reports entailing the living conditions the children are subjected to within the camps. As these come in, calls to abolish ICE are no longer a radical pipe dream, but a unified goal. One such detention center in Aurora, Colorado, had only one in-house physician treating hundreds of cases of chickenpox with one confirmed case of the mumps. This report, given by a Colorado rep, also includes the assertion that this has been this center’s 4th chickenpox outbreak since October.²

According to federal court filings in June, children being held in the Shiloh Treatment Center described being held down and injected with a cocktail of drugs. One child was prescribed three anti-psychotics, a Parkinson’s medication, two seizure medications, an antidepressant, and a cognition enhancer.³ Inspectors for the Department of Homeland Security found “immediate risks or egregious violations of detention standards.” Out of the four centers that were inspected, two of them had spoiled lunch meat. At the center in New Jersey, the report stated that “open packages of raw chicken leaked blood all over refrigeration units.”  The reports also clearly states that all of the facilities showed “serious issues with the administrative and disciplinary segregation of detainees”  that clearly infringe on their unalienable rights.⁴

A visit to a processing station in McAllen, Texas by lawyer Hope Frye showed the awful condition of a 17-year-old mother with a premature infant. The month-old baby was sluggish and wrapped in a dirty towel while wearing a soiled onesie. The poor mother was in a wheelchair due to a complicated emergency C-Section and had barely been able to sleep. She was unable to lie down due to the pain, and she didn’t dare fall asleep in the chair. The baby, born in Mexico, had received no medical attention since being in Border Patrol custody. ⁵

Another report from McAllen, Texas, showed that four severely ill toddlers were only hospitalized after lawyers forced the government to do so. These children were feverish, coughing, vomiting, and they had diarrhea. A lawyer stated, “It’s intentional disregard for the well-being of children. The guards continue to dehumanize these people and treat them worse than we would treat animals.”⁶

Frankly, it doesn’t matter whether AOC is right or wrong in calling these things “concentration camps.” What matters is the fact that lawyers described terror in these children’s’ eyes and said that they all looked like they had just experienced something awful, something no child should ever have to go through. These people do not have simple rights, and these camps have become crimes against humanity.


View Our Sources:

1) 99-Year-Old Nuremberg Prosecutor Calls Trump’s Detention of Children a ‘Crime Against Humanity’

2)   ICE facility in the middle of Chicken Pox Outbreak has One Doctor to treat 1,500 Detainees, Congressman Says

3) Immigrant Children Forcibly Injected with Drugs at Texas Shelter, Lawsuit Claims

4) DHS Watchdog Finds Spoiled Food, Nooses at Multiple Immigration Detention Centers

5) Teen Mom And Prematurely Born Baby Neglected At Border Patrol Facility For 7 Days

6) Watchdog Finds Detainees ‘Standing on Toilets’ for Breathing Room at Border Facility Holding 900 People in Space Meant for 125