Target: U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner R. Gil Kerlikowske
Goal: Thoroughly investigate abuse cases and properly punish officials accused of mistreating immigrant children
The United States is supposed to be a free and protective place for immigrants fleeing bloody violence and terrible conditions in other home countries. For the more than 47,000 children detained at the border since October of 2013, that reality is shattered when they are physically and sexually abused, denied food and water, and shoved into gruesome holding rooms to determine citizenship eligibility. The U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s border officials are actively neglecting and mistreating the terrified children attempting to cross the border into a better life.
Approximately 116 separate cases of child abuse have been filed by the Esperanza Immigrant Rights Project, with many more cases going unreported. According to the group, more than 80% of these immigrants are receiving inadequate food and water. Because many of these children are shuttled around to different customs locations, their locations for further interviews cannot be obtained. However, many children discuss, in detail, being yelled at, shoved around, touched in inappropriate areas, stuffed into cold cell-like rooms, and being denied even water. A person’s immigrant status should not make one unable to obtain the basic human rights needed to survive, especially in a country as large and democratic as the United States.
Take a stand for these immigrant children and demand that all of the abuses are properly investigated and that every single official involved in these wrongdoings is brought to justice. President Obama recently declared all of these children coming to the United States as a national crisis. Now, these children must be protected and vindicated for the mistreatment they have received at the hands of U.S. Border Officials.
Dear Commissioner R. Gil Kerlikowske,
I was absolutely horrified to learn about the recent events surrounding the immigrant children arriving at the U.S. border. I read about the innumerable abuses the children have suffered at the hands of U.S. Border Officials. I became shocked further when I saw what they went through and how the U.S. Customs and Border Protection has not yet launched an investigation into the 116 cases of abuse listed by the Esperanza Immigrants Rights Project. The ACLU and other immigrant rights organizations have detailed the abuses and their staunch opposition to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s methodology of holding children in terrible conditions until legal status is achieved.
As an citizen of the United States, I ask that you may attempt to amend these horrific conditions by swiftly launching thorough investigations into every single case described. In addition, I urge you to harshly punish any official found guilty of child abuse. Beyond rectifying the wrongs done to these poor children, I ask that you improve the conditions of immigrant children to be more humane and sympathetic. Americans need to stand up and care for fellow humans, especially innocent children abandoned by their own homelands.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: James S. Wood via Mailonline