Civil rights leader the Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr. decried the treatment of detained migrant children as “the barbarism on the border.”

Jackson is calling on people to not remain silent, to donate supplies and to march on the border.

“This should not be happening in America,” Jackson said Thursday in a phone interview from Chicago.

Immigrant advocates, doctors and lawyers allege that children are being held in deplorable conditions at border facilities, including the U.S. Border Patrol Station in Clint, outside El Paso.

Border Patrol El Paso Sector leaders deny that children in custody are being neglected.

Jackson said that the immigration situation is not a Democratic or a Republican issue.

“This is a humanitarian condition,” he said.

Jackson asked that churches, labor organizations, human rights groups and people from all walks of life take action and speak out.

“We will begin to have marches on the border and demand we have a humane policy on the border,” Jackson said.

A date for the marches has yet to be determined.

The Rainbow PUSH Coalition sent a delegation of ministers to Texas this week, he said.

The group is mobilizing to collect 5,000 diapers, undergarments, toothbrushes and toothpaste to be donated, he said.

Jackson recommended people make donations to Annunciation House, a nonprofit that organizes a network of immigrant shelters in the El Paso area.

The U.S. Border Patrol officials have said that the agency cannot accept donated items.

Jackson’s organization has contacted the offices of U.S. Rep. Veronica Escobar, D-El Paso, and El Paso Mayor Dee Margo.

In a statement issued Wednesday, Jackson called for the migrant children to be released, saying the locations weren’t suitable to hold adults for long periods, let alone months-old children.

“Jesus was a border baby,” Jackson has previously said. “The United States doesn’t have a border crisis. It has a leadership crisis in the White House, a failure of vision, a betrayal of what America is supposed to stand for.”

Several Democrat candidates for president were at the annual Rainbow PUSH Coalition convention this weekend in Chicago.


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