Government Removes Migrant Children From Detention Facility After Reports of Dire Conditions


Almost 250 migrant children held in unsanitary conditions at a Border Patrol facility in Texas have been moved into the custody of the Department of Health and Human Services, according to a new report.

The acting commissioner of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency, John Sanders, is resigning and will leave his post on July 5, the agency said on Tuesday, a move that coincides with an outcry over the treatment of detained migrant children.

The acting head of U.S. Customs and Border Protection resigned Tuesday amid an uproar over the discovery of migrant children being held in filthy conditions at one of the agency's stations in Texas.

In one case reported in Clint, attorneys said a 2-year-old boy without a diaper was being watched by older children. Data obtained by the AP showed that 15 of the children had the flu and 10 more were quarantined.

The U.S. government has removed hundreds of migrant children from a Border Patrol station in Clint, Texas, following reports of unsanitary living conditions and inadequate food and water. But Escobar said some were sent to another facility in El Paso.

The seven people found dead this week by US Border Patrol included a woman and her three children who were thought to have died from heat exposure and dehydration, Reuters news agency reports.

Migrants are loaded onto a bus by U.S. Border Patrol agents after being detained when they crossed into the United States from Mexico on June 01, 2019 in El Paso, Texas. Now, the agency is apprehending tens of thousands of parents and children weekly.

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"There is a stench", said Elora Mukherjee, director of the Immigrants' Rights Clinic at Columbia Law School, one of the lawyers who visited the facility.

Michael Scott Moore, who was held hostage by Somali pirates for three years, tweeted "Somali pirates gave me toothpaste & soap".

Following the arguments, the judges said the matter was "submitted for decision".

Government rules call for children to be held by the Border Patrol in their short-term stations for no longer than 72 hours before they are transferred to the custody of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, which houses migrant youth in facilities around the country through its Office of Refugee Resettlement while authorities determine if they can be released to relatives or family friends.

Independent inspectors allowed access to the center under a court-ordered agreement said the children weren't being properly cared for and denied basic sanitary conditions. They have refused news organizations access to the facilities, however, saying the officials there are too busy trying to process the children and find places for them at more long-term shelters.

"The death of a child is always a awful thing, but here is a situation where, because there is not enough funding ... they can't move the people out of our custody", Sanders said.