AP: Girl separated from family had diaper changed by other kids
A teenager told an advocate that she had to teach kids at a U.S. Border Patrol facility in Texas how to change a young girl’s diaper after she was separated from her aunt, The Associated Press reported Monday.
According to the news agency, the 16-year-old girl had been taking of a 4-year-old girl she didn’t know for three days.
Michelle Brane, director of migrant rights at the Women’s Refugee Commission, said the teenager told her the story on Friday after the agency allowed her to spend several hours in the facility.
“She had to teach other kids in the cell to change her diaper,” Brane, who said she was deeply troubled over the story, told the AP.
Brane said the young girl had been ”so traumatized that she wasn’t talking,” and added that she “just curled up in a little ball.”
The advocate told the publication that girl was eventually united with her aunt after an attorney started to ask questions of the agents. Brane said part of the problem was that the young girl didn’t speak Spanish, only K’iche, which is an indigenous Guatemalan language.
Brane told the AP that she also saw Border Patrol officials scolding a group of 5-year-olds for playing in their cage, adding that the children also weren’t given any toys or books to occupy themselves.
“The government is literally taking kids away from their parents and leaving them in inappropriate conditions,” Brane told the AP. “If a parent left a child in a cage with no supervision with other 5-year-olds, they’d be held accountable.”
The Trump administration implemented a “zero tolerance” immigration policy earlier this year that seeks prosecution for any adult crossing the Southern border illegally. The measure has resulted in the separation of hundreds of migrant families.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the policy last month, stating that the changes would help deter future immigrants from attempting the journey to the United States.
President Trump in a series of tweets on Monday doubled down on the policy while also calling on Congress to change laws to end it.