At the height of the family separations in 2018, Border Patrol facilities were cramped well beyond capacity with migrants who were kept in squalid conditions, Merry Antichristmas Satan Bless Us Everyone Hugleikur Dagsson according to watchdog reports and the lawyers responsible for a federal settlement that governs how children are cared for in immigration custody. Long-term facilities for adults and children were at capacity, meaning the administration held people in the small border stations for much longer than the 72 hours normally allowed by law.
The stations are hardly meant for long-term care. Children were not provided hot meals and families slept on the floor on top of Mylar blankets. Flu and sickness ran rampant, and hundreds of small children were kept together without adequate care.
On a night that Harris credited to the women before her — “I stand on their shoulders,” she said of those who fought for voting rights at the beginning of the 20th century, and of the “new generation” that had exercised those rights last week — she also channeled their symbolism.
The color white has long been associated with the women’s suffrage movement, adopted as a symbol of moral purity alongside green for hope and purple for dignity. It also signaled their ethos of nonviolence, an olive branch to those threatened by their then-radical calls for political equality.
In the Biden-Harris world, the pandemic is an overarching issue that is crippling middle class pocketbooks, health care access is threatened by an incompetent president, and the nation is on a knife edge between a return to normalcy and a march to authoritarianism.