Rep. Rashida Tlaib described what she and AOC and Rep. Pressley experienced in their visit to El Paso's migrant detention center.
July 5, 2019

Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib visited Trump's de facto concentration camps at the border in El Paso, Texas with her colleagues, Reps. Veronica Escobar, Ayana Pressley, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. What she described as inhumane and immoral is what most of us couldn't bear to witness happening to others, let alone experience with our own families. Yet this "president" and his Republican cohorts in Congress range from fine with it (*shrug* "Hey, we are getting our forced-birthers on the Courts!") to thrilled (*fist pump* "Woohooo! Let them see how cruel we are so the browns stop coming!")

While Rep. Tlaib described some Border guards taking her aside and begging her to get the word out about how awful conditions are — this is NOT the job they signed up for — most of them seem either made for this Brown-shirting, or super-adaptable to it. Rep. Tlaib, infinitely kinder than I am, apparently, considers they may have become numb.

REP. TLAIB: Nothing can erase what I saw or any of my other colleagues saw. What we saw was inhumanity. It was immoral, what our country is doing. We're creating a generation of children who will never forget what we did to them. No amount of apology will ever fix this. ...[W]e were really told, "Don't talk to them. Don't take any photos." We were very, very much, they were trying to isolate us from even having any direct contact but for the courage of congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ayana Pressley,. Many of us were very eager to say, "No, we want to speak to them." Even Congresswoman Escobar pleaded and said, "Wait, I've been able to speak to some of the detainees. Why can't we speak to them today?"

Wolf Blitzer asked her if she felt physically threatened, given what we've learned about the Facebook group to which nearly 10,000 Customs and Border Protection agents belong, in which members post racist, misogynistic, and violent memes about migrants and Members of Congress.

REP. TLAIB: I didn't feel physically threatened. I felt very much tension. I felt at one moment a tremendous amount of anger with the stares. Some of those men and women were not very happy that we were there. These are agents that I think are under a lot of stress but no excuse for their immoral and inhumane and just, their character and how they proceeded to laugh and jokingly think that this was all so very funny and it wasn't. This is horrifying to be able to see something like this. And sometimes, Wolf, one moment I looked and there was a gentleman there. He was only there for one week, an agent. And I said, "You just got here?" And he said, "Yup, just came from New UYork. Was pulled in." You can see, he was in a situation he didn't want to be in. And I thought to myself, maybe the others just became more numb to it. Maybe the others had to justify being part of something so ugly and so hard to be part of in separating families like that.

To have a little 4-year-old come to you at the glass door and just a beautiful child. I'm trying to play with him, connect with him. They wouldn't let us speak to the children directly. And you can see as he slid a little board to me, wanting me to write something, and he kept asking me where his papa was. I don't know how these agents take it every single day. I'm wondering if they become numb to it. I know deep within, there is a culture of racism. A culture of anti-immigrant, hate rhetoric that has been allowed to fester from within and it was very evident, Wolf, with their stares, "Oh, that's the one, the Member of Congress of Muslim faith, calling out the president for many of his impeachable offenses." You felt that kind of tension and that kind of anger toward you as you walk through the halls of the detention centers.
They were laughing through the window at us after we were very upset that some of them were taking photos.

These CBP Brownshirt-wannabes were taking selfies through the glass of themselves with the deeply concerned members of Congress trying to help sick and abandoned children. Children who had no access to beds, clean clothes, soap, comforting human contact, or their parents. Taking these photos without the permission of the Congresspeople, and laughing. How much money should we bet that those photos are destined for that swell private Facebook group the CBP agents belong to?

Even more disturbing to think about, if this is what goes on when Congressional delegations are present, imagine what goes on when they are not.

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