Democratic Senator Kamala Harris of California has accused the Trump Administration of committing “crimes against humanity” because of the treatment being received by mothers and their children at the U.S.-Mexico border.
Senator Harris visited a migrant detention facility in California on Friday and she said she was shocked and appalled at what she saw going on. She went to the Otay Mesa Detention Facility near San Diego for the purpose of meeting with the migrant mothers whose children were taken away from them.
“This is outrageous,” Harris said, addressing a crowd of several hundred protesters outside the detention center. “This is clearly a crime against humanity that is being committed by the United States government and we have to stop it.”
Harris had earlier created a stir in Washington when she demanded the resignation of Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen for what she called the “cruel” policy of separating children from their parents.
In her Friday speech Senator Harris heavily criticized the Trump administration for “giving no indication” of when families would be reunited or how the process of reuniting separated migrant families will work.
Harris also made reference to the fact that more than 2,300 migrant children have been taken from their parents after crossing into the U.S. illegally and despite Trump’s executive order stopping this practice the children are still missing and their parents don’t know where they are.
During her visit Harris described the Otay Mesa detention facility as a “prison” similar to others she has seen before. “I am a career prosecutor; I have visited many prisons and jails. That is a prison,” she said.
In fact the Otay Mesa facility is operated by a private prison company called CoreCivic Inc., which is known to donate money to Republican politicians.
During her visit Harris had conversations with three migrant mothers who had their children taken from them. They told her they had been separated from their children after entering the United States and have had limited or no contact since then.
“They’re in complete and utter despair,” Harris said afterwards. “We can’t let everyone kind of turn the page, like ‘Oh, OK, we’re now bored with this subject, let’s move on to the next. It’s still very real for these families. A day in the life of a child who’s not with their parent is a very long day.”
“These mothers that I spoke with, they think that they’re alone. We need to remind them and everyone else that they are not alone and that we all stand with them,” she said to the crowd of people who had gathered outside the facility.
Kamala Harris has been one of the most vocal critics of the Trump zero tolerance policy and with her well-placed attacks on Trump she is positioning herself well for a possible run for the presidency in 2020.
I am a lifelong Democrat with a passion for social justice and progressive issues. I have degrees in writing, economics and law from the University of Iowa.