Saturday, July 06, 2019

Toilets for Water Fountains? Yes According to Rep Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez: Let's Consider The Facts

Using toilets for drinking water? Seriously? Well, if you believe Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) they are. She tweeted on July 1st that female detainees being held in temporary custody by the US Border Patrol were being told that if they wanted drinking water they had to use toilets. In addition, she claimed that during her visit, Border Patrol guards attempted to physically and sexually "intimidate" her.

Judy Chu (D-CA) also tweeted that "migrants" (a euphemism used to soften the term illegal immigrants) currently being held in temporary custody were instructed by Border Patrol guards to use toilets for their drinking water. A third Congressional representative, Madeleine Dean (D-PA) said in a tweet that the conditions she witnessed were "far worse than we could have imagined" while others have referred to the holding facilities as "concentration camps".

The three women were visiting the holding facilities as part of a delegation organized by the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. The purpose of their visit was examine the living conditions of those being held, which also included speaking with some of the detainees. According to Ms. Ocasio-Cortez, she was told that the guards would walk the women around at odd hours and for no apparent reason; often calling them offensive names. She also claimed that she learned that the Border agents allegedly used a false Facebook page to post derogatory stories about her, including some lurid photo shopped pictures.

So how true is any of this? Well, it's true that the holding facilities are crowded. In fact, there are overcrowded. In some instances, the men are held in "standing room only" conditions. However, this is because these facilities were never intended for the volume of people which have attempted to enter this country illegally. The detainees are, according to the Border Patrol, provided with medical care, showers (typical military five minute limit), and hot meals They are provided with clean clothes, blankets and pillows. They also have access to snacks and drinks during the course of the day. I'm sure living conditions aren't great, but they're not exactly like "concentration camps" either.

As for the claim that the women were told to "drink out of the toilets", well, that story isn't exactly factual. As with most federal facilities such as prisons, toilets, drinking fountains, and sinks are one unit in order to reduce costs and conserve space. The three are just part of a single constructed unit with separate plumbing. Thus, there is no "drinking out of the toilet". Regarding the claim that border personnel were trying to physically and sexual "intimidate" her, that to may be an exaggeration given the number of officials and those with cameras who were present. It's more likely that those at the facilities felt as if their professionalism and dedication to a difficult job under difficult circumstances were being questioned.

With respect to the claim that there is a "secret" Facebook page, US Customs and Border Protection said they would investigate, even though this is a private personal page. If it is determined that Border Patrol agents were involved in any "inappropriate" behavior regarding the posts, they will be dealt with internally which may include suspension or termination. As an aside, while I personally don't approve of posting any sexual or discriminatory pictures, stories, or comments, I presume these individuals were all over 21 and the content was intended for those who were also over 21 and invited to view the page (and, obviously accepted).

Therefore, if these presumed adults were making personal comments, etc on their own time (and that's an important point. Any comments and so forth should never be on "company time") on a private page, then what business is it of US Customs and Border Protection? For that matter, if you make comments at home on your or someone else's private page, if it any business of your employer, especially if those comments were not disparaging your employer but commenting on someone or something else altogether?

Recently, Florida Congresswoman Frederica Wilson (D-FL) said that people---US Citizens---shouldn't be allowed to criticize those in office. No, seriously. She said that. Rep. Wilson said that those who do should be prosecuted and face some form of punishment. If they do on social media, their account should automatically be shut down. She added that "You cannot intimidate members of Congress, frighten members of Congress. It is against the law, and it's a shame in this United States of America."

Her comment was made in direct response to Ms. Ocasio-Cortez's claim that there was a private Facebook account making fun of her (and by implication apparently, other members of Congress. I presume that includes the President too, and yes, I mean Trump). As if this couldn't get any more bizarre, Rep. Wilson said this was already the law but wasn't being enforced.

I hate to be the one to break it to either Congresswoman but here in the United States we have the right---the duty---to question those in government and demand of them honest answers to our question regardless of how those questions are posed. It's protected by the First Amendment protecting freedom of speech. Obviously you want to avoid anything libelous, we still have the right to say what we will about government and those who in power.

Nevertheless, attempts are being made to further improve living conditions at these facilities. Congress just passed at the end of June an emergency border funding bill to add $4.5 billion dollars in spending on these holding centers. However, while that may temporarily improve conditions, unless something is done to secure the border (such as building the long promised wall), things will only continue to get worse.

According to the partisan "Freedom for Immigrants" site, there are currently 200 detention sites across the US. 60% of all detainees are held in privately owned facilities such as GEO Corporation and Corrections Corporation of America/CorpCivic. in 2017, GEO Corp received $184 million dollars from taxpayers to run its centers while CorpCivic received $135 million.

Each company houses approximately 15,000 individuals each per day. Federal statistics indicated that the average person is held one month...or less. As an aside, the average age for the majority of detainees is between 26 and 35 years of age followed by 35 to 45 and under 25 years old. So, basically the overwhelming majority are in their prime working and childbearing years.

NBC News (another partisan site), has reported that 2019 has, so far, seen the highest influx of illegal immigrants since 2006, exceeding 3500 apprehended per day on seven occasions in February and March 2019 (March 19th saw 3974 arrested, a new record. Beating out the old one of 3530 set in 2006). February 2019 saw 76,000 individuals crossing the southern US illegally which was a 11 year high. The busiest crossing point is around El Paso Texas, which has seen a 97% increase over 2018; a 434% increase since Trump has taken office. To put it in better perspective, 2018 saw 396,579 illegal immigrants apprehended. So far this year there has been 268,044. Is there any doubt that our detention centers are overflowing?

Some groups, overwhelmingly on the Left, are hoping that the US Government will simply throw in the towel and open the borders to whomever wants to come. However, that's not likely to happen whether Trump or anyone else of either party are in office. For that matter, regardless of which of the two corporate owned parties controls Congress. Per the Washington Examiner, each illegal immigrant costs US taxpayers around $70,000 each (or about $70 billion dollars), which is seven times the cost involved in simply deporting them.

With the recent rash of new diseases appearing at the border such as whooping cough, mumps, measles, TB, and chicken pox with many of these new arrivals, that may be a bargain when you include the cost of treatment. This also doesn't factor in the costs of gang related activity which has already spread across the US. Even the sleepy little river town of Louisville Kentucky has an estimated 25 gangs including several major Mexican and Latin American drug cartel related gangs (although the mayor and police chief try to downplay it as much as possible). As a result crime---especially murders---have skyrocketed.

So what are we to do? That's the same question we've been asking since President Ronald Reagan make the mistake in 1986 of granting the estimated five million illegals currently living the country at the time amnesty under the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (which obviously "controlled" nothing). Since then the number of illegal immigrants have continued to rise, states as well as cities and towns have blatantly ignored federal laws and became "sanctuary" communities (which still demanding federal money to contend with the influx). Universities have offered in-state tuition and protection from authorities, and all the while, religious groups and churches act as if immigration laws don't apply to them. The same can be said of some businesses and cash strapped unions.

As I've written before, the Federal Government needs to build the wall. It may ultimately prove to be ineffective, but it will send a message that if you want to enter the US, do it legally. States, cities, towns, as well as colleges and universities who prove "sanctuary" and aid to illegal immigrants should lose all federal funding. States offering driver's licenses to illegals should not be reciprocated.

Businesses and their owners who hire illegals should receive a stiff fee per employee along with a 90 day suspension of their business license (six for second offense, one year for their third, and permanent after that). Meanwhile, the business owner and/or board of directors should be subject to jail time. Employers should also be required to use E-Verify for all employees. Employers who require seasonal help should require that employees have a green card (especially those who are involved with farming, construction, and horse racing). As an aside, we should make it easier to acquire a green card. If you really want to come here for a better life, great. We'd love to have you, but do it legally (it would be terrific if you had some employable skills too and could speak at least some English). There's a embassy or consulate on just about every country on the planet. Usually they're located in large cities or a nation's capital. Just coming for a job? Fine. Get a green card. You can get them at the same place.

Churches and religious groups who aid illegal immigrants should not be exempt from search and seizure. Since they're playing at politics, their tax exempt status should be revoked along the same lines as businesses. They should also be subject to fines and jail time. No funding for public schools for children of illegal parents. English should also be mandatory anywhere funding is paid for by taxpayers. Lastly, the Federal Government should deduct the cost of housing, feeding, treating, and deporting illegal immigrants from the financial aid the US provides to these countries (many of these countries depend on US aid). Perhaps this might encourage them to do something to resolve the problem before it leaves their borders.

Until we, that is the Federal Government and especially Congress, recognizes this is a serious threat to our national security and the profit is eliminated by businesses, churches and social organizations, and so forth, the problem of illegal immigration is only going to continue to get worse, and we haven't even discussed the possibility of terrorists trying to slip through (which the Department of Homeland Security has already said has likely happened). Unless we the People get tough with those elected to serve our interests at every level, the situation will only deteriorate until we have no choice but to throw in the towel. If that should happen, the consequences to this country will not only be catastrophic, they will be irreversible.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Says Detained Migrants Were Told To Drink Toilet Water

Rep Frederica Wilson demands prosecution for those who mock Congress online

Detention by the numbers

Border surge the highest since 2011, each illegal immigrants costs $70,000, 7x deportation cost

Infectious Diseases Making Border Crisis Worse

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