Migrants are fleeing impossible situations at home: gang violence, drought, starvation, poverty. Some have relatives in the United States but are denied access to them. Illegally separated from adult family members, young children are doing their best to take care of those even younger then themselves. They sleep on cement floors. They are denied basic sanitation as soap, toothbrushes and toothpaste. Children are hungry as they are fed inadequate diets of oatmeal, Cup o’ Noodles and cookies. Even when taken ill in these abominable conditions, there are no capable adults take care of them. The U.S. imports avocados, pineapples, bananas, mangos from Guatemala, Mexico and other countries. Guatemala is suffering a drought where maize, the main staple diet, cannot be grown. My small (8×8 inch) watercolors express my outrage.
“Kids in Cages: Inhumane Treatment at the Border”
Testimony of Clara Long Before the U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Reform, Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, July 11, 2019
A 14-year-old girl told us:
“I was in the first cell for seven days, sleeping with no mattress. It is hard to sleep when you don’t have a mattress. I then came down with the flu. I then went into the flu cell for seven days. When you are in the flu cell, you also sleep on the floor, but you have a mattress. There were 21 other kids in that space with the flu. I had a fever in there and I was shaking. Some of the other kids were vomiting. They all had fevers. No one was taking care of the kids with the flu. … We were not allowed to leave the flu cell, ever. It was very boring. I did nothing to entertain myself, nor was anything offered. It was sad, very sad. I felt locked up and closed in.”