The New York Times reports that on Thursday a federal appeals court ruled that detained migrant children are entitled to basic hygiene supplies such as toothbrushes, to be provided by the government. This comes after a debate in June where a lawyer for the Justice Department said that the government did not need to provide these necessities.
After the lawyer argued against giving detained children toothbrushes, another group of lawyers said that children were being held in small and unclean conditions without enough food or clean water in Clint, Texas. Infant detainees were being cared for by other young children at the facility.
After that report, hundreds of children were transferred away from the Clint station, the Border Patrol agent in charge of the facility was reassigned and then resigned from the position, and the facility was cleaned up.
“It’s a major victory for children in federal immigration custody,” Elora Mukherjee, one of the lawyers who visited the Clint facility.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has now reinforced the protections that detained children are entitled to. They also reiterated the requirement that officials work to release detained children as quickly as possible.
“Assuring that children eat enough edible food, drink clean water, are housed in hygienic facilities with sanitary bathrooms, have soap and toothpaste, and are not sleep-deprived are without doubt essential to the children’s safety,” Judge Berzon wrote.
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