EL PASO, Texas (AP) — A legal team that recently interviewed over 60 children at a Border Patrol station in Texas says a traumatic and dangerous situation is unfolding for some 250 infants, children and teens locked up for up to 27 days without adequate food, water and sanitation.
A team of attorneys who recently visited the facility near El Paso told The Associated Press that three girls, ages 10 to 15, said they had been taking turns keeping watch over a sick 2-year-old boy because there was no one else to look after him.
When the lawyers saw the 2-year-old boy, he wasn’t wearing a diaper and had wet his pants, and his shirt was smeared in mucus. They said at least 15 children at the facility had the flu, and some were kept in medical quarantine. Children told lawyers that they were fed uncooked frozen food or rice and had gone weeks without bathing or a clean change of clothes at the facility in Clint, in the desert scrubland some 25 miles southeast of El Paso.
“In my 22 years of doing visits with children in detention I have never heard of this level of inhumanity,” said Holly Cooper, an attorney who represents detained youth. “Seeing our country at this crucible moment where we have forsaken children and failed to see them as human is hopefully a wake up for this country to move toward change.”
The lawyers visited the facility in Clint because they are involved in a legal settlement known as the Flores agreement that governs detention conditions for migrant children and families. The lawyers negotiated access to the facility with officials, and say Border Patrol knew the dates of their visit three weeks in advance.
By Associated Press for NBC NEWS
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