Don’t expect the camps housing migrants on the border to close anytime soon—if anything, expect conditions to get worse.
That was the message from journalist Andrea Pitzer during an appearance with MSNBC‘s Chris Hayes on Thursday night. Pitzer, whose book “One Long Night” is an exhaustive history of the uses of concentration camps over the last century, said that the lessons of the past indicate that President Donald Trump’s war on migrants isn’t anywhere close to being over.
“My research showed pretty conclusively that these camps don’t just close themselves,” said Pitzer, who stressed that the usefulness of the camps for governments targeting marginalized groups for abuse is one of the main reasons for their staying power.
“They’re going to get bigger and conditions inside them are going to get worse,” Pitzer said.
Pitzer’s appearance on “All In” came after a week of disturbing news from U.S. detention camps on the southern border and beyond. On May 31, Common Dreams reported that migrants were being forced into dangerously overcrowded conditions in an El Paso detention center, with people climbing onto toilets to breathe easily. On June 1, the first day of Pride Month, a trans woman from El Salvador died in ICE custody.
Common Dreams reporters also detailed Wednesday that the Trump administration is canceling “education, recreation, and legal services for unaccompanied migrant children in federal shelters across the country,” and on Thursday described how former Trump Chief of Staff John Kelly is profiting off of child detentions—a policy he helped develop while in the White House—in the private sector.
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