As appalling details of the conditions at immigrant detention centers in the U.S. continue to pour in—with one doctor recently comparing them to "torture facilities"—a coalition of rights groups on Friday announced nationwide "Close the Camps" demonstrations for next week to protest the Trump administration's treatment of migrant children.
"We've seen the images and heard the stories coming out of child detention centers," said MoveOn.org, one of the groups helping to organize the events, which are set to take place Tuesday, July 2.
"Children denied soap and toothbrushes, crowded into unsafe conditions," MoveOn wrote on its website. "Separated from their families, subject to cruel treatment that leads to lasting traumas. And some dying in custody—or dying with parents as they cross the Rio Grande."
These conditions are not an accident, MoveOn said.
"They are the byproduct," the group wrote, "of an intentional strategy by the Trump administration to terrorize immigrant communities and criminalize immigration—from imprisoning children in inhumane conditions to threatening widespread raids to break up families to covering up reports of immigrants dying in U.S. custody and abuses by ICE and CBP agents."
To call attention to these horrific conditions and mobilize opposition, MoveOn, United We Dream, and other advocacy groups planned demonstrations at local congressional offices nationwide as lawmakers return home for July 4 recess.
ANNOUNCEMENT: There will be nationwide protests on Tuesday, July 2 demanding the closure of the inhumane immigrant detention centers subjecting children and families to horrific conditions.
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— MoveOn (@MoveOn) June 28, 2019
The organizations laid out three core demands on their website:
It's going to take all of us to close the camps.
This Tuesday, July 2, while members of Congress are home for the Fourth of July holiday, we will gather at 12 p.m. noon local time at their local offices in protest. Our demands:
- Close the Camps
- Not One Dollar for Family Detention and Deportation
- Bear Witness and Reunite Families
Will you join a local Close the Camps protest near you this Tuesday, July 2? Find an event or start your own, and bring everyone you know. Can't attend or host an event? Text CAMPS to 668366 to continue taking action to #CloseTheCamps.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, expressed support for the demonstrations on Twitter.
"We need to fight for immigrant families and stop Donald Trump's racist policies," Warren said, "and we can only do it together."