As many as 250 children are allegedly being held without proper food, water or sanitation at a Texas facility operated by U.S. Customs and Border Patrol, attorneys for the children said Thursday, adding that some have been in custody for more than three weeks.
The Associated Press reported that attorneys who visited migrant children held at the facility in Clint, Texas, said that conditions in the detention facility were filthy, with children going without bathing for weeks on end and alleging that they were fed only meals that included uncooked frozen food or rice.
“In my 22 years of doing visits with children in detention I have never heard of this level of inhumanity,” one of the attorneys, Holly Cooper, told the AP. “Seeing our country at this crucible moment where we have forsaken children and failed to see them as human is hopefully a wake up for this country to move toward change.”
Some of the children in the facility were reportedly sickened with the flu, with some being held in medical quarantine while others, including a 2-year-old boy, were reportedly only cared for by other children in the facility.
The claims come as Democrats have sharpened their criticism of the administration's treatment of migrants in recent days, including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezSecurity policy expert: Defense industry donations let lawmakers 'ignore public opinion' Do progressives prefer Trump to compromise? Don't let partisan politics impede Texas' economic recovery MORE (D-N.Y.), who this week made headlines when she accused the federal government of operating "concentration camps."
Republicans slammed Ocasio-Cortez's statements, accusing her of likening the situation at the border to the Holocaust. The freshman congresswoman has since doubled down on her criticism, comparing the detention camps to Japanese-American internment camps constructed by the U.S. during the second World War.
Five migrant children have died in U.S. custody since December, and last week it was reported that a pregnant teen had given birth to a premature baby at a Border Patrol facility elsewhere in Texas.
The Hill has reached out to CBP for comment on the allegations outlined by the attorneys.