Four migrant toddlers hospitalized after time at US border facility: lawyers

Immigration attorneys said four toddlers, all under the age of 3, were hospitalized last week after spending time at a U.S. Border Patrol facility in McAllen, Texas.

Toby Gialluca, a Florida-based attorney, told HuffPost on Friday that the children, who have teenage parents or guardians, were coughing and vomiting and had fevers and diarrhea.

One 2-year-old’s eyes reportedly rolled to the back of her head, according to Gialluca, and she was “completely unresponsive.”

Their immediate condition is unknown.

ADVERTISEMENT

“It’s just a cold, fearful look that you should never see in a child of that age,” Gialluca said. “You look at them and you think, ‘What have you seen?’”

The lawyers told the outlet that they forced the government to hospitalize the children and feared that the children would have not received medical attention had they not toured the facility.

“It’s intentional disregard for the well-being of children,” Gialluca said. “The guards continue to dehumanize these people and treat them worse than we would treat animals.”

The Hill reached out to U.S. Customs and Border Protection for comment.

The HuffPost report comes after a Justice Department lawyer suggested at a recent hearing that a toothbrush and soap were not necessarily required to fulfill sanitary conditions for detained migrant children laid out in a years-old agreement.

The Associated Press reported that Sarah Fabian, a senior litigation counsel for the Justice Department, made the suggestion while discussing a 1997 settlement agreement that requires certain sanitary and safety standards be met for detained persons during a recent hearing at the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.