After U.S. Customs and Border Protection moved three hundred immigrant youngsters out of a detention center in Texas, NPR’s Ari Shapiro talks with lawyer Elora Mukherjee, who visited the facility last week.

Another immigration tale that we’re following nowadays – Customs and Border Protection has reportedly moved masses of youngsters out of a transient conserving facility in Clint, Texas, after multiple reviews on unsanitary situations there. One of the those who raised the alarm changed into Elora Mukherjee. She’s a director of the Immigrants’ Rights Clinic at Columbia Law School. She visited the middle near El Paso last week in which more than 300 migrant youngsters had been being held.


ELORA MUKHERJEE: Thank you for having me.

SHAPIRO: What’s your take on this move by CBP today?

MUKHERJEE: CBP is trying to move children out of Clint, that’s inside the highlight, and to different centers. We do not know in which the ones kids are being moved. We do not know if those centers have the same appalling conditions that we’ve got visible in Clint, Texas. Last week in Clint, we saw loads of kids who mentioned – we interviewed many kids who said that they were hungry. They had been manifestly dirty. They had been ill. They had been scared. And they’d been detained through Customs and Border Patrol for weeks on ceasing, a few for nearly a month. And the opposite facilities can also have comparable troubles.

We have discovered that a number of the kids have reportedly been moved to a facility outside of El Paso, where our team also went last week. At that facility, there have been additionally now not enough get right of entry to to toothbrushes, to showers, to beds for kids to sleep in. So we need to analyze wherein the children have been moved and what the situations there are.

SHAPIRO: So your concern is that CBP is responding to lawsuits approximately one particular facility as opposed to trials nearly a gadget that topics children to these situations in a spread of facilities. Is that right?

MUKHERJEE: That’s precisely right. A 2008 regulation that was handed with unanimous bipartisan support and signed by President George W. Bush calls for that youngsters be in CBP custody for seventy-two hours, three days, or less. And we want to recognize that the kids that have been moved out of Clint had been released from federal immigration custody. Every baby we spoke with has family contributors inside the United States who’re determined to have their beloved kids lower back. And the one’s children belong with their households. They do now not belong in detention.

SHAPIRO: Tell us a touch bit about the situations which you saw when you visited this Clint facility final week.

MUKHERJEE: The children are hungry. They’re no longer being given enough meals. They’re given the identical meals day after day. Many of the kids have had no opportunity to take a shower or a tub because crossing the border weeks in the past. There is a stench that emanates from the children due to the fact they haven’t had an opportunity to clean their garb. They’re sporting the regular clothes for weeks that they crossed the border in. There are very young youngsters – 1, 2, three years vintage – who’re being cared for with the aid of older youngsters who aren’t related to them. And once I say older kids, I mean 7-year-olds, eight-year-olds.


MUKHERJEE: The kids are locked of their cells and cages for long durations of time, almost all day. Most of the children who I spoke with have no possibilities to head outdoors.

SHAPIRO: Wow. Now, Customs and Border Protection says that they’re doing the first-class they can with confined resources, and they need extra money for more centers and extra beds. In our last 30 seconds or so, do you compromise that that is the wished solution?

MUKHERJEE: The immediate answer is that the administration follows the law. The law requires that youngsters now not be detained in these facilities for longer than seventy-two hours. We need congressional hearings right now to investigate the situations wherein children are being held across the border in addition to adults. And all children deserve access to simple hygiene items, which includes soap and showers and toothbrushes which among the children at Clint have been now not given.

SHAPIRO: Elora Mukherjee of Columbia Law School, thanks for becoming a member of us today.

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