The contentious issue of the United States has left many U.S. citizens feeling divided. There are hundreds of thousands of migrants that are trying to come to the United States, in search of a better life. This mass amount of people has overwhelmed the border, making it near impossible to control. In the last few months, it has become evident that the issue has escalated in severity due to the conditions the migrants are being held in. The government has done very little to help them, leaving thousands sick, hungry, and fearful. As shown by the inhumane conditions immigrants at the southern border are facing, the government needs to find another way to solve the border crisis despite the recent dramatic influx because their current solution is greatly harming thousands of immigrants that are just in search of a better life.
The Recent Increase In Immigrants
With an immense amount of conflict occurring around the world, more are wanting to come to the United States. This inpouring of immigrants has left the borders and various detention centers overcrowded, making it difficult to maintain order. It is shown by Freedom For Immigrants that in the last year the amount of migrants has doubled. In the month of February alone, 76,000 new immigrants crossed the border without authorization. As quoted in the New York Times, Commissioner of Customs and Border Protection, Kevin K. McAleenan had commented, “The system is well beyond capacity, and remains at the breaking point”. While many think the issue solely revolves around Mexican immigrants, there are people coming from all over the world, including the Middle East and Latin America. With this many people trying to cross the border, especially in the recent months, it is necessary for there to be a better solution than to put them in unsanitary, crowded detention centers.
The Journey To The Border
For many, the journey to the border is a long and treacherous one that can often be deadly. The journey can look like walking hundreds of miles, across hot deserts with very limited food or water supply. In a picture captured at the southern border, the dangers of the trip are clearly shown, as it depicts a Salvadoran father with his two year old daughter, after having drowned before reaching the border. For those that reach the border, they are still often met with a great amount of violence and hardship. Thousands are being put in detention centers that are overcrowded, to say the least. A map posted by Freedom For Immigrants indicates that the states of California, Georgia, Texas, Alabama, and Louisiana contain the most centers, adding up to over 200 of them.
Conditions Inside The Centers
President Trump as well as many other U.S. citizens have argued that there is no better solution than to keep these immigrants in detention centers. Trump has a history of trying to limit immigrants from entering the country because of his belief that they steal the jobs of Americans and increase crime. In 2017, the President supported a proposal to cut the flow of immigrants in half. This is just one of many drastic measures he has taken in his attempts to control the border. Throughout his presidency, he has been very vocal about this issue and the way in which it can be fixed.
His current solution is for there to be detention centers along the border. These centers are over maximum capacity and are unsafe for people to be living in. The supervisors at the center are given very limited resources to try and help. The cells that the people are being held in are very unsanitary. Some have said that they did not have access to a shower or any form of bathing in over forty days. The unclean conditions have resulted in many illnesses such as Chickenpox and Shingles to breakout. In a graphic provided by the New York Times, it shows where sick children are placed. These young immigrants are placed in a holding cell without any beds or toilets, making it extremely unbearable to live in. For the sake of the health of these migrants, it is necessary that the government finds a better solution, before the crisis gets any worse.
How The Government Is Responding
As previously stated, President Trump is not shy about sharing his opinions on the border. To him, it is an issue with safety at the border in terms of immigrants being dangerous. For so many, all they want is to have a better life and leave whatever trauma they were facing. He has shared in many of his speeches and tweets that Americans need to be cautious because they could be taking our jobs, bringing illegal drugs, and creating conflict. The Trump administration has rarely commented directly on the quality of the detention centers. His administration said it was not necessary to provide hygiene items such as soap. However, many Congress members have toured various facilities and were appalled by what they were seeing. Thousands of people suffering in dirty, unhealthy conditions continue to live inhumanely because the government refuses to address the issues these people are constantly experiencing.
What Needs To Be Done
In order for the border crisis to be under control, it is vital that the government can reach a conclusion that helps these migrants suffering at the border. They also need to attack the issue head-on so it shows they actually want to do something to help. If the Trump administration still feels the need to keep immigrants in detention centers, they must be humane. The current conditions are extremely dangerous and are harming thousands of people. It should not be a question whether or not basic supplies should be provided because it is not morally right to withhold these materials, when they could easily provide them. If something is not done soon, then the crisis will only continue to grow to a point where there is no fixing it.
[Image Attribute: Patrick Feller]