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I am appalled at the detention camps for immigrants at our southern border.

First of all, seeking asylum is not a crime, and illegal entry is only a misdemeanor. The Trump administration's zero tolerance policy is being used as justification for family separation and is directly causing the massive increase of detainees.

Secondly, many immigrants are being held in private facilities, which are reportedly costing $775 per person each day, more than three times the cost of permanent facilities run by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Who is making millions off of this policy?

Finally, recent investigations have found that immigrants are being treated inhumanely; some immigrants report not being allowed to shower for weeks, and that food is infested with maggots. Children will suffer trauma from these policies. Seven children have died!

HHS staff recently argued in court that blankets, soap and toothbrushes are not necessary for their care. How is this not the definition of abuse and neglect? We need to learn about the history of U.S involvement in the instability in many Central American countries, and consider visiting one of these facilities.

Contact your members of Congress and demand that they stop separating families, close these camps, and investigate potential human rights violations.

The millions of tax dollars being spent could be used for immigration courts to more quickly process these cases.

You can protest these policies at Quad Cities Lights for Liberty from 7-9 p.m. July 12 at 5th Avenue and 12th Street in Moline (#LightsforLibertyQC).

Douglas McCollum,

Rock Island

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