Transcript for House committee to hold hearing on unsanitary conditions at migrant detention centers
So guys we move on to the crisis at the border we've been keeping you updated on the situation there around horrific conditions. Inside some of these facilities were children. Are separated from their parents I want to bring in Michael Garcia though headache with Human Rights Watch. Michael you've been at these facilities I just want you to remind us of what you stall in what it was like when you actually went and. Sure so I was in claims near El Paso a couple of weeks ago. And the conditions there are as you say pretty horrific. Overcrowding at that time pretty severe overcrowding. A lot of kids telling us that they were unable to have regular access to showers. Toothbrushes. But they've been wearing the same clothes during the entire time they've been there which in some cases was two or three weeks or even more than that. We saw and frankly smells really filthy kids as well. Some of the younger kids you know him and talking really young five years two years less than a year old. Had shirts that were covered with mucus and other body fluids. I saw kids win win that. Did. Certain who really should have been named diapers and weren't because they didn't have parents who care for them or other caregivers. I spoke to teenage girls who had been told. Can you take care of his two year old to and they were forced to do it on their own. And that while shocking in itself. And shocking enough for this facility that the group of us who were there went public almost immediately on this. He is not an usual we just heard this week reports from government inspectors. About similar conditions in Yuma Arizona. Another government inspection report in the Rio Grande Valley. Reports really extreme levels of overcrowding and really want to link the times in these detention facilities. And really everybody including border agents agree to these places are no are not fit for children. So Michael what I want to ask you is what do you think of the trump administration denying these reports when you've seen it firsthand. I mean that's really. Counter factual writing in the evidence is abundant it's overwhelming it comes from cover. Mint officials as well as from our own observations. There are a variety of sources that attest to and consistently tested these kinds of shortcomings. More than shortcomings serious abuses. In border detention facilities. The real question now is what what they should be doing and there are some obvious answers. Number one move kids out of these facilities as quickly as possible. If that means negotiating win. The Department of Health and Human Services which is supposed to take care of these kids as promptly as possible. That's what senior border officials should be doing rather than saying. These allegations are true when they manifestly are. It also means that. Border officials and health officials should be moving kids to their families. Many if not most have relatives in United States who are willing and able to care for them now. That's certainly better for everybody it's better for kids it's better for border agents who are being asked to do something that really isn't their job. And it's better course for the taxpayers who are going to be footing the bill for four housing kids mean deeply inhumane conditions. Yeah I appreciate that year. Actually offering some solutions we talked to your colleague Claire along last week she's a part of the hearing today that's in congress on this. Inhumane treatment what do you guys want to get out of this hearing. But the movie person needed is your real accounting of what's going on we need a real acknowledgment from. The border agency from Customs and Border Protection. That these kinds of circumstances are not. Unusual unfortunately. That consistent reports over the last few years but in particular the impact of this administration's policies. Have we really deeply aggravated the situation for kids almost to dangerous levels. We've had six kids die at least six died. You Darien border protection custody were immediately afterward. And we need to see some some milk taken responsibility for that. We're not saying that border the border agency should be caring for these kids far from that as they themselves agreed that isn't their job. What we do need is to move quickly to the kinds of solutions we outlined. Quick placement with family members. If necessary alternative care arrangements like state licensed Foster care facilities. But some other appropriate. Way. Handel in children that doesn't involve subjecting them to really is inhumane. Really dangerous really unsanitary conditions. All right Michael Garcia both and it from Human Rights Watch thank you so much. Four yer here in plating and feedback thank you.
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