The attitude of the United States (US) government toward Latin Americans seeking liberty and opportunity within the confines of the US, is shameful. As a matter of fact, the actions of the Donald Trump administration toward migrants at the border and in holding facilities, might add up to human rights violations.
But as personnel of international organizations charged with determining violations of human rights continue to gather evidence of the conditions of migrants at the US border and within government sponsored holding facilities, the deaths of a father and his toddler daughter on the Rio Grande as they tried to reach Brownsville, Texas, stands as a major blight upon the US, democracy and human rights. A picture of the dead father and tot reinforces a new price for seeking liberty and opportunity in today's America - death by drowning.
While investigators, rights advocates and attorneys continue to highlight the inhumane US facilities housing migrant children and others at the border, the truth remains that present Trump administration immigration policy is contributing to human rights violations at the US border and of a failed promise to Latin America.
Today's passage in the US Senate of an emergency $4.6 billion aid bill to address the crisis at the US border, will never be sufficient to fix the inherent Latin American belief that Washington owes the region more than just a comfortable detention facility while awaiting deportation. There must be an administration change of attitude toward the people of Latin America.
What President Trump and his backyard-limited-scope-of-rationale supporters have failed to realize, is that almost every condition from which migrants are fleeing, were created by US action in Latin America. In support of US policies in the region, especially, in the 1970s and 1980s, Latin Americans and others, myself included, swallowed the ideal of supporting democracy over dictatorship, fascism, communism and socialism. The unwritten, but widely accepted notion at that time, which still stretches into today, was that the border to greater freedom and opportunity would remain open to such supporters of democracy. But that reciprocal deal has now been broken.
Hence, the actions playing out at the US border involving Latin Americans, are not just immigrant affairs, but the intended fulfillment of a promise to seek liberty and opportunity; and not death.