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Attorneys’ Report Slams Conditions for Migrant Children at U.S. Detention Centers

Federal officials said the immigrants were only being processed and wouldn't be here longer than three days, but lawmakers reported they'd been told by immigrants within the facility that they had been there for seven. (Credit: US Customs and Border Patrol)

Federal officials said the immigrants were only being processed and wouldn't be here longer than three days, but lawmakers reported they'd been told by immigrants within the facility that they had been there for seven. (Credit: US Customs and Border Patrol)

Attorneys who recently visited Border Patrol stations, ports of entry and family detention centers filed a scathing report this week alleging that the federal government is not adequately caring for minors in its custody.

Children and their parents interviewed by the attorneys described cramped cells where there wasn’t enough space or bedding to sleep, cold or frozen food and a lack of access to basic hygiene products like toothbrushes and soap.

The interviews were part of monitoring done through a court settlement called the Flores agreement that governs how long migrant children may be held in custody and under what conditions. After a San Diego federal judge ordered the Trump administration last month to reunite families separated at the border, the government tried to renegotiate the settlement to be able to hold children longer than 20 days, as the Flores agreement stipulates. The judge in the Flores case rejected the government’s argument.

In more than 1,000 pages of declarations with first-hand testimony from more than 200 parents and children held in custody in California, Texas and other states, the filing paints a vivid picture of the migrants’ first moments in the U.S.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.