Border Patrol turning away donations of diapers, toys: report

U.S. Customs and Border Protection is turning away donations of toys, soap, toothbrushes, diapers and medicine for migrant children housed at the border, the Texas Tribune reported Monday.

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Texas state Rep. Terry Canales (D) tweeted a letter Saturday to CBP, offering “the full support of the Rio Grande Valley community” to care for migrant children in custody. He told the newspaper that Border Patrol officials told his office they do not accept donations.

“The whole situation is disgusting, but I’m always hopeful that the better part of us as human beings will shine through,” Canales said. “Those children feel like the world has given up on them, and we have to fight for them.”

 

Individuals, advocacy groups and lawmakers on either side of the aisle have all reached out to Border Patrol following wide-reaching reports that facilities have been overwhelmed in recent months by migrants, with some children allegedly being held without proper access to food, water or sanitation.

Six migrant children have died in U.S. custody in the last eight months.

Gabriel Acuña, a native of Clint, Texas, said he tried to visit migrant children in a Border Patrol facility in the city and bring soap and other sanitary products Sunday. 

“It makes me feel powerless knowing there’s children taking care of toddlers and little kids,” Acuña told The Texas Tribune. “Knowing what’s happening in your community and that you can’t give these kids supplies to clean or clothe themselves — it’s heartbreaking.”

The next day, the Trump administration announced that they were moving children from the facility, with 30 of more than 300 children staying there. The move followed reports that some of the children were sick with the flu and that the children were tasked with caring for each other.

“If the government isn’t going to do anything, then let the community help and do something for these kids,” Acuña continued.

The Hill has reached out to CBP for comment.