WASHINGTON, July 2—In response to news of deplorable conditions faced by detainees at border facilities recently visited by members of Congress, as well as revelations that nearly 10,000 current and former Border Patrol agents were involved in a secret Facebook group in which racist and sexist posts were commonplace, Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) issued the following statement:
“We have all seen horrific images of women and children crowded into filthy cells at detention camps without running water and forced to sleep on concrete, sometime for months. Authorities in charge of these facilities have demonstrated cruelty and indifference, and—like President Trump—do not respect basic human rights or the oversight authority of Congress.”
“Further, racist and sexist behavior on the part of those who wear a uniform of the United States is unacceptable,” said Sanders, referring to comments made by ICE and CBP officers on Facebook. “The Department of Homeland Security must investigate and take strong action against those found guilty of this vulgar behavior.”
“The time is long overdue for a complete overhaul of our immigration system. Instead of demonizing the undocumented, we must provide a path toward citizenship, immediate legal status for the 1.8 million young people eligible for the DACA program and create a humane policy for those seeking asylum at the border.
“Further, we must stop family separation; reunite families that have been separated; end detention of families, children and anyone who doesn’t pose a danger; eliminate private detention facilities; and protect asylum seekers as the law requires. We also must oppose Trump’s nightmarish mass-deportation plans.”
“What we need to do is convene the countries of this hemisphere to address the violence and deprivation that is prompting people to flee their own countries,” Sanders concluded. “As neighbors, we can solve these problems together.”