Begun in 2017, the advocacy group Doctors for Camp Closure (D4CC) is emerging as a vital voice in the movement for humane treatment of migrants at the U.S. Southern Border, and inheritors of the tradition of non-violent, deeply informed and compassionate protest.
They have been at the forefront of the recent push to have detainees vaccinated for the flu, after four have died in detention – three times the rate of the general population.
D4CC’s positions are moderate by some standards, but fiercely held and advocated. They embody the American ideals of fair treatment, reason and compassion, all while trying to strengthen civic life. Martin Luther King often noted that “the ends are pre-existent in the means,” and D4CC offers a living example of this understanding.
The group’s 2017 position statement in a letter to congress outlines its four policy goals, with ample and respectful explanation and clear footnotes to help fact-checkers:
- Immediate End of the Use of Detention for Migrants: “We support alternatives to detention such as community support and release on recognizance which have been shown to be effective, safe, humane, and more cost effective than detention.”
- Immediate End to Family Separation: “We are unequivocally opposed to policies which separate parents from children, either through detention or deportation.”
- Immediate Implementation of Independent Medical Oversight to Ensure Standards of Medical Care are Being Met
- Immediate Halting of Dangerous Deportations: “We are opposed to deportation of individuals and families who are facing dangerous and deadly conditions in their countries of origin.”
The group plans more advocacy events and protests in 2020. The D4CC Facebook page is the best resource for tracking these events as they emerge: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1263702860469475/
Founded by three physicians, Dr. Bonnie Arzuaga MD, Dr. Marie DeLuca MD, and Dr. Danielle Deines, DO, Doctors for Camp Closure offer a mission statement that captures the civic urgency of their work, and reads like poetry:
“We, the physicians and healthcare workers of Doctors for Camp Closure, seek to end the inhumane treatment of those coming to our borders, asking for our help. Their long journey to our borders are to be met with compassion, dignity, and a fair, efficient application process. To that end, it requires an intent to protect the health of applicants, the sanctity of the family bond, and the virtue of an honest, transparent application for legal entry to the US carried out in a manner that sufficiently protects the most vulnerable. These are the ideals upon which our nation was founded and has flourished.”