Protestors decry child internment camps

By William R. Wynn | TULSA, OK

Dozens of people gathered in front of the Tulsa offices of U.S. Senator James Inhofe Tuesday to protest the Customs and Border Patrol (CPB) detention camps housing children taken into custody at the U.S.-Mexico border. Protestors carried signs reading “Families Belong Together,” “Close the CPB Child Jails,” “Children in Cages Have Hearts Too,” “You Voted For It,” and “Do the Right Thing Senator Inhofe” and chanted “Save the children – close the camps!” Another bore the names of the six migrant children who have so far died in CPB custody.

One of the most compelling images was a small animal cages with several child dolls inside.

Among those protesting the camps was Samuel Pacheco, who was there along with his young daughter, Elia Luna Pacheco, and his stepson, Cameron Wise. He said his wife encouraged him to take part in the demonstration.

Small animal cages with several child dolls inside

“We have an almost two year old daughter and my family is from Mexico,” Pacheco told La Semana. “Everybody has a voice, and though you might come from a different country, I think everybody should have the same opportunities, especially the children. They can’t make the choice for themselves and their parents are just looking for a better life for their children.”

The “Close the Camps” demonstration was organized by the group Move On in a nationwide effort to draw attention to the plight of migrant children being housed in deplorable conditions in numerous facilities in the United States.

“We’ve seem the images and heard the stories coming out of child detention centers,” Move On’s website states. “Horrifically, these conditions aren’t an accident. They are the byproduct of an international strategy by the Trump administration to terrorize immigrant communities and criminalize immigration.”

Move On sought to take advantage of the Fourth of July legislative break to protest at the local offices of the most egregiously anti-immigrant members of congress. Inhofe has long been known as one of the most hardline senators opposed to immigration reform. Many of those protesting were disappointed to learn that Inhofe’s offices were in fact closed on July 2, but they expressed hope he would at least see coverage of the demonstration on TV. (La Semana)