The Report on the deported
Before Trump would make headlines announcing his intention to repeal DACA, a colleague at Humans Rights Watch retells his week at a migrant reception center in Texas
Two years ago, one of my best friends, a longtime journalist, took a job with the Latin America division of Human Rights Watch. For the past week, he has been in Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas, Mexico, just across the Rio Grande from Laredo, Texas, at a migrant reception center. I got an email from him on Friday—before either of us knew that Donald Trump would repeal DACA three days later.
“We spent a lot of time last week sitting around the migrant reception center, waiting for [ICE] to pull a bus up to the northern end of the long footbridge that crosses the Rio, remove cuffs and shackles from the wrists and ankles of the deportees, and shoo them south onto the bridge. Every few hours, about thirty deportees, mostly men, suddenly showed up, most clutching white plastic garbage bags full of belongings in one hand and holding up their pants with the other (ICE takes their belts and shoelaces to prevent suicides). Often they looked a little stunned; some had woken that morning in their own beds next to their wives, made breakfast for their kids, failed to signal before changing lanes on their way to work, and here they were. … For some, this was their first time in Mexico since their parents carried them north as toddlers three decades ago. If the media reported that a judge somewhere was punishing small-time thieves and traffic violators with immediate and indefinite separation from their children, most Americans would be outraged. …Yet it happens so often in the United States that it’s not even news.”
I was already outraged Friday. Today, I’m disgusted.