Activists protested conditions at border detention facilities in front of the federal courthouse in downtown Sacramento today. Irvis Orozco with the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement says they wanted to meet with Congresswoman Doris Matsui to voice their concerns about the camps, but security quickly shut them out of the building.
"It's very unfortunate, and we are planning hopefully to have another discussion with her where the media is and we want to talk to her, we don't want to talk to representatives," said Orozco.
Journalists were also prohibited from going into Matsui's office by building security. A handful of protestors were allowed in, but their phones were confiscated. The protesters rallied outside in front of the court house and appeared next to two dog crates that contained plastic baby dolls with signs that read, "no kids in cages." They're demanding funding be cut at the centers where thousands of migrants are being held.
Elizabeth Kim, president of the Sacramento chapter of the National Lawyers Guild, says the group is providing legal counsel to asylum seekers, and also monitoring the ICE facilities closely for abuse. She says asylum seeking is a legal process.
"When a person comes to our border to seek asylum we are legally required to take them in," said Kim. "Because of the way the fear mongering has taken over our media and our conversations, people think we have a right to turn them away and that's absolutely not true."
Kim also said President Trump is not exclusively to blame for the way migrants are being treated at the border detention facilities.