News & Politics

Judge Orders an Independent Monitor to Evaluate Border Facilities Detaining Migrant Kids

The decision comes following allegations of abuse and inhumane conditions.

Photo Credit: USA Today

Following allegations of abuse and sub-standard conditions, Judge Dolly Gee has mandated the appointment of an independent monitor to evaluate conditions in facilities temporarily holding migrant children:

The independent monitor's role will be limited by the judge: confined to Customs and Border Protection detention facilities along the border in the Rio Grande valley in Texas. The monitor will also only assess accusations of ill treatment made to Judge Gee in a June 2017 motion.

"There continue to be persistent problems," she said. “There seems to be disconnect between what both sides see at these facilities." Under her order, the Trump administration and plaintiffs have until August 10 to agree on “a qualified candidate for the monitor job. Failing that, she said, they should each submit two candidate names and then she will decide.” 

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One detained mom, Fatima, said that "on the second or third day” at a CBP facility, “my daughter soiled herself. I asked if I could clean her because her underwear [was] soiled. The guards said, 'No.' ... She remained in her dirty underwear until we arrived at Dilley [Texas] several days later." This is state-sanctioned child abuse, plain and simple, and where a complicit Republican-led Congress continues to abdicate its oversight responsibility, judges and courts are doing what the federal government refuses to do.

"One of the persistent problems that we see,” said Peter Schey of the Center for Human Rights and Constitutional Law, “is the inhumane treatment of children in border patrol facilities where they might be detained for anywhere from three to six days. This includes inadequate food. It includes enforced dehydration, it includes sleep deprivation because children do not have access to sleeping mats."

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