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Here's what I saw at the border (2/3)

In my last note, I told you about my team's trip to Juárez, and the terrible conditions facing the asylum seekers refused entry into our country.

We also spent time in ICE facilities in the United States, and what we found was equally disturbing. Donald Trump's immoral immigration policies have set up a deliberately harsh system of camps and detention facilities that trample on the very rights and values our country was founded on.

At the Otero County Processing Center, we learned of four asylum seekers from India, some who have been held in the detention facility since January. One of these men had no attorney, could not read, could not write, and ICE had no way to adequately translate for him. When asked, the warden told us that the men had begun a hunger strike, because they wanted to be released from detention.

Thankfully, one of my staffers speaks the same language the men, and she was able to hear directly from them about their experiences being held in ICE detention. One man – already weak from hunger – told us about the horrific violence he'd escaped from as well as the abuse he'd endured since arriving in the U.S.

We were devastated to learn that after half a year in ICE custody, he wasn't starving himself to be released from the camp; he was trying to die. He'd so thoroughly lost hope, he was literally starving himself to death to escape. He thinks no one cares about him, and from what I saw about how he's being treated, I understand why he thinks that.

As we departed I told him we do care about him and that we are going to do everything we can to help him. So we are working closely with the lawyers of the men on hunger strike to make sure their rights aren't denied, that they are treated fairly, humanely, and with justice.

But the reality is these conditions are avoidable, and are the direct, intended result of the Trump administration's racist immigration policies. Donald Trump and Stephen Miller designed a scheme that tramples American values and attacks the humanity of both the migrants seeking refuge as well as the Americans charged with caring for them.

We've identified a group of nonprofits that are providing legal and humanitarian aid to migrant communities, and working overtime on the ground to protect human rights from Trump's aggression.

Supporting those organizations sends an important message, that the American people are standing up to Donald Trump, and fighting his vicious policies on every front.

Please join me in supporting the organizations on the front lines of the fight to protect human rights and dismantle Trump's growing network of brutality.

We must stand together to put a stop to the cruelty being inflected in our names.

Ron

Posted on July 29, 2019.

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Ron Wyden & Jeff Merkley at a health care rallyRon Wyden is a champion for our progressive values -- standing up for consumers and the middle class, fighting for digital privacy and an open internet, protecting our planet and Oregon's special places, and always insisting on human rights and equality for all.

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