GILNORVALO VALLEY, CALIFORNIA — This week, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez joined a few of her fellow congressional Democrats and visited multiple immigration detention centers in Texas. The centers are being run at the behest of the Trump administration, whose zero tolerance family separation policy has lead to untold thousands of families being separated into what Ms. Ocasio-Cortez and others have called “concentration camps,” much to the outrage, chagrin, and ire of President Trump and his supporters.
Reports from Ocasio-Cortez and the other reps painted a stark picture of horrid, inhumane conditions. She relayed stories told to her by the women inside the camps, some of which indicated that CBP agents told the detainees they could drink out of the toilet since the sink was broken. The cells are overcrowded, and many haven’t showered for days or even weeks. The Trump administration and Customs and Border Protection have tried to push back on the accusations made by AOC, however the same day of her visit, news broke that a private Facebook group with thousands of agents had been discovered, and within the group anti-immigrant propaganda, as well as jokes about Rep. Ocasio-Cortez performing sex acts, were regularly shared, so there seems to be a growing public relations nightmare unfolding for the administration as well.
In a small California community, one Democratic state lawmaker is piling on the criticism, and she recently told her local newspaper she thinks people who think Trump’s camps are okay should be willing to spend the night in one to prove how humane they are.
“Over the past few days, we’ve seen President Trump’s supporters and defenders on TV and in social media tell us that people are exaggerating how terrible the conditions in the camps are,” State Rep. Lisa Matteo (D) told reporters this morning. “So I’m issuing a challenge to anyone who thinks these camps are okay. Just go spend a night with the detainees. Then report back to us how great it is.”
Rep. Matteo says that she believes “it’s easy for Americans to pretend they’re not bothered” by the concentration camps because “they’re taught casual xenophobia is nothing more than patriotic pride in the rule of law” and because some people choose to watch news outlets “who never, ever show their viewers the truth about the camps’ conditions.” If she could, Matteo would personally pay the airfare of every single Republican official who has defended the camps so they could travel to Texas and sleep just one night with the mothers who were separated from their children.
“I want to hear how sanctimonious they are about the rule of law after drinking toilet water and not showering a few days,” Matteo said. “So maybe they need to be in there more than a night. But something tells me, most of these fake patriots would crack after a couple hours of living in the camps.”
Matteo dismisses those that say the onus for their treatment lies with the immigrants and asylum seekers as “racist propaganda.”
“We have a Constitution that outlaws cruel and unusual punishment, and they are cruelly and unusually punishment people whose crime is, essentially, fleeing a war zone for a chance to make shit wages at a job no American is volunteering for,” Matteo explained. “Even if I buy the argument that they deserve some kind of punishment for their so-called crime, when the hell did we get to the point that a damn concentration camp is anything other than a human rights violation? We really didn’t learn anything from our Japanese internment camps, did we?”
Thus far, no Republican or Trump supporter has taken Rep. Matteo up on her offer to place them for a single night in one of the concentration camps. Rep. Matteo said she’ll let us know when and if one does.
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Writer/comedian James Schlarmann is the founder of The Political Garbage Chute and his work has been featured on The Huffington Post. You can follow James on Facebook, Spotify, and Instagram, but not Twitter because they have a definition of hate speech that includes “calling Ann Coulter the C-word.”