The administration’s treatment of migrants is part of a pattern of dehumanization that has disturbing precedent for what could come next, said Pitzer.

Of particular concern, Pitzer added, is that while the number of people coming to the border is increasing, the administration appears uninterested in and incapable of handling the influx. 

“They don’t seem to have a plan on how to deal with this, other than to punish the refugees, the asylum seekers,” said Pitzer, “or to have Mexico take care of it.”

Pitzer, who noted the latter solution was not very realistic, added that without a clear plan for migrant detention, conditions in the camps were sure to get worse. 

“I expect to see contagious diseases, malnutrition in some cases, and mental health crises,” Pitzer said. “We’re going to have that very soon; there might be reports already coming of that.”

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