Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen recently visited an immigrant detention facility in Los Fresnos, South Texas, where Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials are currently withholding asylum seeking parents who were separated from their kids under the Trump administration’s inhumane “zero-tolerance” policy of splitting migrant families apart.
Given the fact these men and women had their kids taken away and are forced to live in detention for the crime of seeking a better life for their families, one would have expected a prominent government official like Nielson to at least speak with some of the detainees.
However, according to The Intercept, the DHS secretary’s tour of the facility didn’t quite go that way.
Apparently, the officials forcibly moved over 60 immigrant women to a soccer field and kept them there for two hours despite the temperature being in high 90s – all because they didn’t want them to talk to Neilson.
The migrant women told the publication they saw a “tall woman with shoulder-length, blond hair” and attempted to scream “ayúdenos,” which means “help us” in Spanish. However, they were reportedly too far away from her to get their message across.
Meanwhile, ICE officials said the women were moved outdoors for recreational purposes.
“After coordinating with U.S. Secret Service special agents supporting DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen’s June 29 visit to the Port Isabel Detention Center in Los Fresnos, Texas, ICE officers briefly moved detainees from one of the dorms to the soccer field for recreation,” agency spokesperson Nina Pruneda told The Intercept. “About 62 ICE detainees were involved; Secretary Nielsen spoke to various detainees while she toured the facility.”
The facility in Los Fresnos was one of the several detention centers Neilson secretively visited, though it’s unclear if a similar procedure was followed at other locations as well.
At a time when President Donald Trump and his officials are facing massive protests for their treatment of undocumented immigrants, revelations like this remind the country that this administration does not really care about the pain and anguish it is causing to those who risked their lives to flee violence and poverty in their homelands.
Thumbnail/Banner Credits: Reuters, Leah Millis