By Laura Gómez | Arizona Mirror
Outraged by images of migrant families sleeping on concrete floors and testimony of children detained by U.S. officials, about 50 people gathered [last week] in front of Democratic U.S. Rep. Greg Stanton’s office in Phoenix to demand he take a bolder stance on border and immigration issues.
The group gathered as part of the #CloseTheCamps campaign, a national day organized by advocacy groups MoveOn, United We Dream, Families Belong Together, and American Friends Service Committee. The campaign describes as “concentration camps” the border detention facilities meant for short-term stay where migrant adults, teens and children are held for processing for days and sometimes weeks.
Related: Phoenix groups denounce border and immigration detention conditions
Government inspectors have found the busiest of those facilities to be “dangerously overcrowded.”
Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General observed 71 men held in a cell designated for adult women with a capacity for 41. The photo was taken on June 12, 2019, at Border Patrol’s Fort Brown Station. Source: OIG
“They are not seen as human,” Dionne Mills, a Gilbert resident, said of the thousands of migrants arriving at the southern border during the event outside Stanton’s office. “This is child abuse to a level I can’t even understand.”
Other similar events were held at the Arizona offices of Reps. Debbie Lesko and David Schweikert, who are both Republicans.
Mills said it’s important for all of Arizona’s congressional delegation to hear from residents.
“We’re not all complacent here in Arizona,” she said. “The representatives are complacent when they allow dehumanizing speech to happen. They are perpetrators of injustices… They all should’ve stood up a long time ago”