Daily Archives: July 4, 2019

“Though 72 hours is the longest a minor can be legally confined in such a facility, some had been there almost a month”

The Atlantic: What a Pediatrician Saw Inside a Border Patrol Warehouse. “Dolly Lucio Sevier evaluated dozens of sick children at a facility in South Texas. She found evidence of infection, malnutrition, and psychological trauma.”

“But when Sevier asked the 38 children she examined that day about sanitation, they all said they weren’t allowed to wash their hands or brush their teeth. This was “tantamount to intentionally causing the spread of disease,” she later wrote in a medical declaration about the visit, the document that the lawyers filed in federal court and also shared with me. (Asked for comment on this story, a Customs and Border Protection official wrote in an email that the agency aims to “provide the best care possible to those in our custody, especially children.” The agency’s “short-term holding facilities were not designed to hold vulnerable populations,” the official added, “and we urgently need additional humanitarian funding to manage this crisis.”)

As agents brought in the children she requested, Sevier said, the smell of sweat and soiled clothing filled the room. They had not been allowed to bathe or change since crossing the Rio Grande and turning themselves over to officials. Sevier found that about two-thirds of the kids she examined had symptoms of respiratory infection. The guards wore surgical masks, but the detainees breathed the air unfiltered. As the children filed in, Sevier said she found evidence of sleep deprivation, dehydration, and malnutrition too.”

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