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For Detained Migrant Kids: Lice, No Toothpaste or Soap - Page 2

Attorney: 'Worst conditions I have ever witnessed in several years of doing these inspections'
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 24, 2019 2:15 PM CDT

  • The inspections: They were conducted as part of a decades-old legal agreement known as the Flores settlement that governs the detention of migrant children and families. The AP pegged the number of children at Clint at 250, but other estimates range up to 350. The children are mostly from Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras, and they were either separated from their parents at the border or they arrived there unaccompanied.
  • One anecdote: Attorney Binford also spoke to the New Yorker, and he described a report of six children in a cell of 25 having lice. "They were given a lice shampoo, and the other children were given two combs and told to share those two combs, two lice combs, and brush their hair with the same combs, which is something you never do with a lice outbreak," he says. One of the combs went missing, however, and "Border Patrol agents got so mad that they took away the children’s blankets and mats. ... So you had a whole cell full of kids who had beds and mats at one point, not for everybody but for most of them, who were forced to sleep on the cement."
  • Jarring comparison: Lucio Sevier, a doctor, compared conditions for children at another facility, in McAllen, Texas, to those in "torture facilities," per ABC News. She examined 39 children after a flu outbreak sickened five infants, describing "extreme cold temperatures, lights on 24 hours a day, no adequate access to medical care, basic sanitation, water, or adequate food."
  • Justice Department: Last week, a Justice Department attorney argued before the federal Ninth Circuit panel that the government is not obligated to provide things like toothbrushes or beds, despite the above-mentioned Flores settlement, which requires "safe and sanitary conditions," reports Courthouse News. “Are you arguing seriously that you do not read the agreement as requiring you to do anything other than what I just described: cold all night long, lights on all night long, sleeping on concrete, and you’ve got an aluminum foil blanket?” US Circuit Judge William Fletcher asked Sarah Fabian. “I find that inconceivable that the government would say that that is safe and sanitary.” A ruling is pending.
  • Blame game: President Trump and VP Mike Pence each blamed Democrats in separate interviews over the weekend for the conditions, reports Vox. “If the Democrats would change the asylum laws and the loopholes, which they refuse to do because they think it’s good politics, everything would be solved immediately," said Trump. "But they refuse to do it."
(The bodies of a young woman, a toddler, and two babies were found along the border.)

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