Hundreds of migrant children held by Border Patrol face squalid and traumatic conditions, according to attorneys who recently visited a station in Texas.
After interviewing more than 60 children, the legal team told The Associated Press that “some 250 infants, children and teens locked up for up to 27 days without adequate food, water and sanitation.”
At least 15 children at the Texas station had the flu, with some kept in quarantine, and the minors — many of whom crossed the border alone, some of whom were separated from family — told the lawyers they had gone weeks without bathing and been fed uncooked frozen food.
"In my 22 years of doing visits with children in detention I have never heard of this level of inhumanity," attorney Holly Cooper told the AP. "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 legal team said Border Patrol was aware of their planned visit for three weeks before their arrival. The visit was part of their involvement in the Flores agreement, a legal settlement laying out the requirements for detaining migrant children.
As the Trump administration struggles to find adequate space to hold record numbers of migrants crossing the southern U.S. border, it faces criticism over its treatment of detainees, with accusations of violating migrant children’s human rights.