(Reuters) – A 17-year-old Honduran migrant described babies sleeping on a cold floor. A teen mother said her sick baby was unable to open her eyes for two days but no one responded to her pleas for help. Another teenager took charge of a 5-year-old stranger because the small child was very upset and had no one else after being separated from her father.
In filings in federal court in Los Angeles late on Wednesday, attorneys for migrant children asked a federal judge to hold the U.S. government in contempt of court for “flagrant and persistent” violations of the terms of a 1997 agreement that governs the treatment of children in immigration detention. They requested immediate action be taken to remedy the “deplorable” conditions.
Filings - Dozens - Declarations - Children - Attorneys
The filings, which include dozens of declarations from the children, come after attorneys and doctors last week visited Customs and Border Protection (CBP) facilities in South Texas to monitor compliance with the settlement, known as the Flores agreement.
CBP and Justice Department officials declined to comment on the filings.
Visitors - Facilities - Children - Weeks - Access
The visitors to the facilities found children held for weeks without access to soap, clean water, showers or even a change of clothes, the attorneys wrote. The unhygienic conditions led the flu to spread among the children, who they said were not receiving prompt medical treatment.
The court filings noted that at least six children have died while in U.S. immigration custody or shortly after being released over the past year.
Passing - Day - Hospitalizations - Lives - Risk
“With each passing day, more hospitalizations are occurring and more lives are at risk,” the attorneys wrote.
“Immediate judicial intervention is necessary to compel immediate compliance with the Agreement, end this health and welfare crisis, and prevent more illness and child deaths at the border,” the filings said.
Attorneys - Inspection - Facilities - Rio - Grande
The attorneys requested an immediate inspection of the facilities in the Rio Grande Valley and El...
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