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Right to Inspect Child Detention Sites to be Mediated

Monday, July, 22, 2019

A federal judge determined an inspection was needed to determine the outcome of a dispute involving the inspection of child detention sites at the Texas and Mexico border. A district court judge overseeing the enforcement of an agreement regarding the treatment of immigrant children ordered an expedited mediation.


The federal judge made his decision after reports were filed concerning “squalid conditions” at Customs and Border Protection facilities in the state. According to human rights lawyers familiar with the conditions, the children at the Texas border facilities are held for weeks without access to soap, clean water, showers, clothing, toilets, toothbrushes, adequate nutrition, and sufficient sleep. They also reported that because of the lack of basic hygiene, flu is spreading among the children and adequate medical assessments and treatment are not occurring.


The judge ordered a court-appointed monitor should examine the situation at the facilities and report back within two weeks.


The request for inspection was filed by the Center for Human Rights and Constitutional Law and pertains to two facilities, one in El Paso and one in the Rio Grande Valley. According to the request there are public health emergencies at both sites.


Additionally, the group requested that independent medical professionals be given access to the children that are being held at the sites.


The district judge expressed concern that in spite of what she'd previously determined, the CBP had breached the agreement by holding children in deplorable and unsanitary conditions and the same allegations continue to arise. According to the judge, the 1997 agreement charged the government with preparing a written plan regarding the expedited placement of children in cases of a sudden influx of migrants.