LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:
Migrant youngsters are being held in grim and threatening situations at detention facilities along the U.S.-Mexico border. That’s in step with lawyers who visited the centers in the latest days and spoke with children there. One of those lawyers is Warren Binford, a professor at Willamette University, who defined for us what she saw.
WARREN BINFORD: Many of them are slumbering on concrete flooring, along with infants, infants, preschoolers. They are being given not anything but quick meals, Kool-Aid, and cookies – many of them are unwell. We are hearing that lots of them are not sound asleep. Almost all are fantastically sad and being traumatized. Many of them have not been given a bath for weeks. Many of them are not allowed to comb their tooth besides maybe as soon as every ten days. They have no get entry to cleaning soap. It’s relatively unsanitary conditions, and we are very involved in the kid’s health.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: She visited Clint, Texas, and her own family maintaining middle at Santa Teresa in New Mexico. Her crew has been doing inspections like this for over twenty years. And I requested her how this one compared.
BINFORD: This became, through some distance, the worst scenario that I’ve seen not merely by way of the situations but employing the sheer variety of kids who are being stored at this facility and being stored in only risky, unsanitary conditions. One of the children stated that, presently, there are a hundred youngsters in his cellular and that after he first arrived there, there had been three hundred youngsters inside the cellular. I drove around the outdoor compound to try to find out what he became relating to.
And it is a metallic warehouse that changed into installation lately that Border Patrol said multiplied their maximum occupancy from 104 adults to six hundred. We know that they do have over 350 children there as of Monday while we arrived and that over 100 of those youngsters have been young children. We saw no windows within the warehouse. And the children reported that they seldom get to move outside. One infant stated that the spotlight in their day is that when they come in to clean the mobile, the kids can exit in the hallway. And it is the spotlight in their day.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: These sound worse than actual prison situations.
BINFORD: They are worse than actual jail situations. It is inhumane. It’s not anything that I ever imagined seeing in the United States of America. And this is why we have gone to the click. We in no way go to the media about our website visits. And after the second day of interviewing these kids, you realize we are known as up the attorneys who are in the rate of this situation. And due to the acute conditions that we noticed there, we have been permitted to speak to the media because children are dying on the border in these stations. And now we know why.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: The Trump administration officers this week argued in court docket that those children might not require organic hygiene products like cleaning soap and toothbrushes to be held in safe and sanitary conditions. What do you are making of that argument?
BINFORD: Well, you already know, manifestly, any person with commonplace feel is aware that this is utterly absurd. The World Health Organization has indicated that by using without a doubt working towards handwashing, you could reduce little one mortality via 50%. These specific children are being kept in cells with open bathrooms. It is the same area where these children are spending 24 hours an afternoon.
So essentially, those youngsters are being compelled to devour, poop and sleep and stay in these cells with other unwell youngsters. There is a lice infestation in at least such cells that multiple youngsters have mentioned to us. And they’re being given lice combs to bypass around. The complete state of affairs is absurd. And there may not be anything safe or sanitary about the situations that we witnessed this week.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: The administration says that the children are in these conditions due to the disaster at the border because they are overwhelmed by the number of households and children coming into the United States. How do you reply to that?