Emergency on the U.S.-Mexico Border—Unaccompanied Children Detained in Inhumane Conditions

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A record number of migrants—mainly unaccompanied minors—children—are now in detention on the U.S.-Mexico border, being held in conditions unfit for human beings. The U.S. Border Patrol “facilities” that these children are being kept in are effectively jails, and their stays there are increasing in length—with many detained far past the legal limit of 72 hours. Border Patrol is supposed to work with the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Refugee Resettlement to look after the children and place them in more permanent shelters after leaving Border Patrol custody—but this effort has been hampered by the ongoing pandemic, which has necessitated new protocols to slow the spread of COVID-19, including decreased capacities in these shelters, causing a bottleneck and resulting in overcrowding at the Border Patrol detention centers. In scenes reminiscent of those that sparked widespread and justified outrage under the Trump/Pence fascist regime, AP reports that in Donna, Texas, “Hundreds of immigrant children and teenagers have been detained at a Border Patrol tent facility in packed conditions.... Despite concerns about the coronavirus, the children are kept so closely together that they can touch the person next to them, the lawyers said. Some have to wait five days or more to shower, and there isn’t always soap available, just shampoo, according to the lawyers.”

This is just one damning scene among many in this world of 70+ million refugees and immigrants driven from their home countries by climate change—fueled droughts and crop failures; hurricanes and other natural disasters also strengthened and made worse by the climate crisis; and other devastating effects of imperialism, whether they be trade “agreements” like NAFTA or USMCA,1 or coups and invasions.

As Bob Avakian has said:

...it should be clear that there can be no solution, under the system of capitalism-imperialism, to the situation involving masses of immigrants and refugees. The only solution lies in the revolution to overthrow this system—a revolution aiming not just to abolish oppression, exploitation, poverty, and misery in one country but having as its fundamental goal the abolition of all this throughout the world, and the elimination of all borders and boundaries that erect walls between different parts of humanity.
Why We Need An Actual Revolution And How We Can Really Make Revolution

We Need Revolution, Nothing Less!


1. NAFTA is the North American Free Trade Agreement, implemented in 1994. Under the signboard of “free trade,” this was in fact a predatory treaty whose effect was to ratchet up the U.S. plunder of Mexico and its people. A new version of the treaty, named the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), was signed in 2018. See the 2-part article in the American Crime series on revcom.us: “The 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement—NAFTA (Part 1)” and “NAFTA (Part 2): Deepening the Plunder and Domination of Mexico and the Exploitation and Oppression of Mexican Workers, Especially Women.” [back]

children separated at border with foil blanketsThe U.S. Border Patrol “facilities” that these children are being kept in are effectively jails, and their stays there are increasing in length. Above: Rio Grande Valley Centralized Processing Center, Texas, in 2018. Photo: U.S. Customs and Border Protection/AP

The demonization, criminalization and deportations of immigrants, by Bob Avakian, an excerpt



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