In light of new revelations into the conditions inside what can only be called migrant concentration camps on U.S. soil, multiple Democratic politicians have visited these facilities and are reporting what they saw and heard on the inside on Twitter. The results are as horrifying as you could imagine. Don’t look away.

Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has been particularly vocal about her visit to multiple detention facilities for migrants over the past few days. Additionally, Congress members Ayanna Pressley, Madeleine Dean, Rashida Tlaib, Judy Chu, Lori Trahan, and Joe Kennedy III have been inside these camps and are tweeting about it. The general consensus seems to be that conditions on the inside are horrific, but there are a few key takeaways that every American should keep with them.

1. What they saw was not the worst of it.

According to Rep. Kennedy, U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CPB) were highly uncooperative and attempted to restrict what the visiting Congress members saw inside these facilities. That likely means that even though what they saw was terrible, there are worse conditions in the areas they were not allowed to see.

2. The inmates who spoke up will be punished for it.

Rep. Ocasio-Cortez reports that multiple women she spoke to inside the camps told her that they will be punished for speaking out, and all began crying when they told her this.

3. Detained migrants are being abused.

Rep. Dean reports that detainees are “constantly abused and verbally harassed with no cause.” This is unacceptable, yet not surprising considering the content that was found in a secret Facebook group for Border Patrol agents with over 9,500 members.

4. Migrants are also being tortured.

Ocasio-Cortez further reported that the women she talked to spoke of “psychological warfare” including being woken up in the middle of the night for no reason. Sleep deprivation is a common form of torture.

5. Detainees are being denied their basic needs.

According to U.S. law, the basic needs necessary to sustain life are “adequate food, shelter, and clothing plus some household equipment and furniture,” and “safe drinking water, sanitation, health and education.” We already knew that the migrants inside these detention centers are being denied the supplies necessary for sanitation, but Rep. Chu reports that women asking for water are being told to drink from toilets, which is absolutely not a source of safe drinking water.

6. The CPB agents working at the detention centers are just as bad as the ones in the Facebook group.

When Ocasio-Cortez asked the agents’ superiors why the agents were laughing about detainees drinking out of toilets, she was told that they’re “under stress” and so they “act out.” Are they children? Better question, isn’t it a problem if working in one of these facilities causes so much stress that it causes you to laugh at people forced to drink out of toilets?

7. It’s not just children who are suffering.

It’s normal to feel more sympathy for children who are suffering than for adults, because we tend to view them as innocents who need our protection, and rightfully so. But the detained adult migrants are suffering just as much, and we need to help them, as well.

8. As temperatures soar, most of the detention centers do not have air conditioning.

Though Rep. Tlaib was told that some of the facilities she visited have air conditioning available, there are tent cities and other shelters that do not. The hottest parts of summer are yet to come, and leaving people to swelter in tents and warehouses without clean water to drink is a recipe for death.

9. Border Patrol does not want you to see any of this.

Multiple representatives reported that their phones were confiscated before they could enter the facilities and they were generally prohibited from taking photos or video footage. If your government doesn’t want you to see something, there’s a good chance it’s because they’re doing something wrong.

But they can’t hide forever.

10. You can and should do something about this.

All members of Congress should be visiting these concentration camps to see with their own eyes how their fellow human beings are being treated just for seeking a safe place to live for themselves and often for their children. Call them. Email them. Demand that they speak out against these horrific human rights abuses.

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*First Published: July 1, 2019, 3:07 pm