Sen. Cory Booker went to Mexico on Wednesday to help five migrant women make their case for asylum in the United States.
“Today, I crossed the U.S.-Mexico border in El Paso with [Families Belong Together] and [the Las Americas Immigrant Advocacy Center] to help five women present themselves for asylum,” Booker, a Democratic presidential hopeful, wrote on Twitter. “These are my observations. Please don’t look away.”
Booker said that one of the five women told him she spent a month in detention in the United States — and was forced to stand in the sun each day without food. She said even the water sometimes ran out.
The New Jersey senator wrote that a second woman “had to leave her home under threat of rape. Like thousands of others, under the Trump Administration’s Migrant Protection Protocols, she is stuck in limbo in Mexico.”
“She was so hungry while in detention that she said they would eat the peel of the orange,” Booker said, according to Newsweek.
A third woman had visible bruises “all over her back from sleeping on the hard floor of the detention center. She wasn’t able to shower for over 20 days and has rashes on her skin from the lack of sanitation. While in the detention center, she became sick. Despite the fact that the doctor wanted her to go to the hospital, Border Patrol refused,” Booker explained in the Twitter thread, reported Newsweek. “She was put in isolation and thought she would die.”
“These stories are profoundly alarming, but my words can’t begin to capture the pain,” Booker added. “Their very human dignity is under assault, and it’s being done in our name.”
In Mexico, Booker is supporting the woman and overseeing how their asylum claims are processed by U.S. immigration officials. The women were sent to Ciudad Juárez, on Mexico’s Rio Grande, under Trump’s “Remain in Mexico” policy, which is also referred to as “The Migration Protection Protocols.”