Residents Telling Congressman Lynch to Close Detention Camps

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Local grassroots organization JP Progressives will be visiting Congressman Stephen Lynch's Boston office on July 25 to specifically ask him to close the immigrant detention camps on the southern border.

Image from Massachusetts Jobs with Justice! Facebook page 

"We are joining with other constituents in the district and hope to actually speak with Representative Lynch," said Anne Rousseau, co-chair of the JP Progressives.

"The conditions at the detention camps are unacceptable and that has to change," said Molly Rose Tarpey, Director of Communications for Congressman Lynch, to Jamaica Plain News. "He believes that anyone in U.S. custody must be treated humanely and with dignity. In addition, the asylum cases need to be adjudicated expeditiously."

Lynch recently voted for the Senate Amendment to H.R. 3401, the Emergency Supplemental Bill, that would provide $4.59 billion for additional resources to house migrants detained at the border, including food, clothing, sanitary items, shelter, medical care, legal assistance and additional immigration judges to adjudicate asylum cases. Lynch is also expecting a more detailed House bill to address the conditions at border detention facilities.

Congressman Stephen Lynch with a constituent

Rousseau said Lynch was not part of a recent visit by several Massachusetts officials to visit the camps. But it was not a formal Massachusetts delegation trip, said Lynch's office. Tarpey said Lynch is planning on visiting the detention centers.

While Lynch has not visited the detention centers yet, he has visited Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador to better understand the current wave of migration, as a member of the Committee on Oversight and Reform

Lynch is scheduled to be in session and voting in D.C. on July 25, but he will have Boston staff members present to meet with constituents.

"We would like our representative to speak out as did Representatives Ayanna Pressley, Joe Kennedy, Lori Trajan, and other Massachusetts representatives against locking up asylum seekers and undocumented immigrants to enforce US immigration laws," said Rousseau. "The intentional cruelty of separating children from their parents and locking people up in cages without water to drink, the ability to shower or even lay down to sleep is not only reprehensible it is un-American. We expect the person who represents us in Congress to be a vocal leader against these camps. Requesting asylum is not against the law, so there’s no legal requirement to jail them like criminals and keep them in concentration camps."

You can RSVP here to join JP Progressives and other organizations to visit Congressman Lynch's office at One Harbor Street, Suite 304 Boston, MA 02210 on Thursday, July 25 from noon to 1 pm.