For Immediate Release
20 November 2013
Women-led Mexican American / Latino National Independent Voter Group Calls For U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder To Investigate Border Agents Holding Mothers and Babies In Deep Freezer Cells; Speaker Boehner Should Allow CIR On Schedule
Phoenix, AZ / Lincoln, NE — Rachael Bale, The Center for Investigative Reporting, recently wrote about immigrants being held in deep freezers. According to this report, “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.”
Babies are being denied basic human care with regard to the border patrol holding immigrants inside deep freezers. The reality is Border Patrol agents are treating humans worse than dogs held at Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s no-kill animal shelter (MASH).
The border patrol ought to remember they are dealing with human beings, and Somos Independents – a woman-led national independent voting group is calling for the Eric Holder, the Attorney General for the United States to conduct an investigation with regard to the treatment of children and babies in detention. As a woman-led organization, we want to make every effort that breastfeeding mothers and treatment of children and babies take top priority in humane treatment by providing warmth, adequate water and food in a timely manner.
Shirl Mora James, President of SOMOS INDEPENDENTS and Civil Rights and Immigration Lawyer statess:
What have we come to where we are treating babies like this? How can we say we are the greatest democracy in the world when we treat people sub-human?
If we had comprehensive immigration reform and strong borders we would not be hearing about the many atrocities we are currently hearing about. It appears the treatment by coyotes are not really different than those by the border patrol when agents put human beings inside deep freezers. This is unconscionable. We don’t even treat people on death row like this.
Republican House Majority Speaker via Rep. John Boehner refuses to put the legal comprehensive immigration reform (CIR) issue on the floor for a vote even though Rep. Nancy Pelosi says we have the votes that will fix the broken immigration system enhancing our national and economic security with 190 cosponsors on H.R.15 and 29 Republicans vowing support. Republicans own the House of Representatives and they are in charge of scheduling and have the ability to fix a policy that affects Latin immigrants, children, babies and breastfeeding mothers. Speaker Boehner and Rep. Eric Cantor refuse to put CIR up for vote before the end of 2013, and the Hispanic community will wait and see how the National Right to Life and official pro life leaders from established pro life organization will react to Republicans who claim to be pro life but will not fix issues involving babies and children within a clearly broken immigration system.