Austin, TX – Court filings published today by the Texas Tribune show hundreds of cases of inedible food, cold facilities, and outbreak of diseases in both Customs and Border Patrol holding facilities and Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention centers.
The piece by Emma Platoff highlights the stories of several asylum-seekers who were separated from family at the border by the Trump administration and have suffered from the awful conditions.
Below is an excerpt from the piece from Emma Platoff of the Texas Tribune. Find the piece in its entirety here.
Rotten sandwich meat that’s turned green or black; noodle soup cooked so little that the noodles are still hard; drinking water that smells like chlorine, Clorox or “just bad.” Cramped, cold conditions; tearful separations of children and mothers; guards who said Mexicans won’t ever receive asylum in the United States.
In more than 1,000 pages of new court declarations from children and adults in federal custody, several hundred migrants who crossed the border seeking asylum describe long waits for medical care, outbreaks of chicken pox and untreated diaper rashes. The documents detail minimal access to legal services, with obstacles like language barriers and confusion about their own rights. Some migrants say they are told they aren’t welcome in the United States; others are told it doesn’t matter what they try, they’ll be deported in a matter of days.
Many of these families were separated under the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” policy, a now walked-back practice of sending parents into federal custody to be criminally charged for illegal border entry while their children were held in federally-run shelters. Migrants gave these statements, which describe conditions in Customs and Border Patrol processing facilities as well as Immigrations and Customs Enforcement detention centers, to lawyers from various advocacy organizations in June and July 2018. Lawyers advocating for the migrants submitted the documents to a federal judge, alleging that the legal requirements for children’s care are being violated and asking that a special monitor be appointed to oversee the facilities.
Migrant families passing through detention facilities have long complained of such conditions, but new attention — and new duress — have been placed on these families under the administration’s new practice of separating families.