When I first started to write this, I was crying. I was flying back from Dilley, Texas, the site of the largest family-detention center in the United States. It is 75 miles from the Texas-Mexico border. The center is actually a prison—an internment camp. I see the faces and hear the voices of the women and children I just left.
Nearly every woman I saw seeking asylum came from the northern triangle of Central America: Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador. They had come, primarily, not to save their own lives, not even to save themselves from hopeless poverty or endless physical and sexual abuse, but to save their daughters and sons. The mothers believed their children, who were facing sexual abuse, rape, violence, and possibly murder in their native countries, would be safer in the United States. In most cases the events that caused them to leave, a month or so before I saw them, were attempted or successful attacks by predators, primarily against their daughters, either made by gangs, the government, members of their own families, or unknown men.
Journalists and politicians are often barred from coming in to the detention centers. Occasionally, the center owners will permit guided visits. They do all they can to mislead. I and others had the benefit of being there day after day.
[For more on this story by Martin Garbus, go to https://www.thenation.com/arti...migration-detention/]