Remember last May when, after a visit to a Texas immigration detention facility, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) charged that detainees were being forced to drink out of toilets? Corporate media reporters were more than eager to spread her narrative that there was widespread abuse in the facility and that detainees “were drinking water out of the toilet!”
FAIR quickly dispatched its Media Response Team to the same facility and found zero evidence of abuse (quite the opposite, actually) and that AOC was describing was actually an ordinary stainless steel sink/toilet combination that is commonplace in detention facilities across the country. Either the Congresswoman never saw the device her charge was based on, or she intentionally meant to mislead a media hungry to sensationalize immigration-related stories.
Fast forward to one of these same detention facilities during the present coronavirus outbreak. According to a FAIR inside source, who works at a U.S. Customs and Border Protection facility and asked to remain anonymous, the rumors being peddled to the corporate media about that specific facility are:
- No one inside is being provided with masks;
- Someone has tested positive with the COVID-19 virus;
- The facility has no process for dealing with someone who tests positive for the virus.
Here is what is actually happening inside of the facility, according to our source, who is a law enforcement officer sworn to uphold both federal law and the Constitution:
- Every detainee and staffer in the facility has signed for two N95 masks.
- There are no detainees or staff currently in the detention facility who have tested positive for COVID-19;
- If someone were to test positive for the coronavirus, they would be isolated in the medical ward and the housing unit where they would be quarantined per the instructions from public health officials;
- Detainees are instructed in Spanish and English about personal hygiene and social distancing. Furthermore, they are assured that there are no COVID-19 positive detainees in the facility;
- The facility has implemented measures to manage the coronavirus issue since January 2020, well before the disease was even on the radar of most Americans.
Clearly, when immigration enforcement opponents run out of valid arguments, they are forced to rely on exaggeration, distortion and of course, unsubstantiated allegations. And that’s why FAIR’s ongoing public education efforts are so important.