Migrant facility conditions due to lack of accountability, advocate claims

Claudia Flores, director of the International Human Rights Clinic, says conditions at migrant detention facilities need an "internal institutional overhaul."
7:19 | 07/10/19

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Transcript for Migrant facility conditions due to lack of accountability, advocate claims
Want to bring in our Claudia Flores says she's university professor. At the university of Chicago law professor also the director of the international human rights clinic there someone who has worked in advised. I the United Nations on treatment of migrants cloudy Rick to see. To see you again the president has said a recent days that the conditions inside these facilities are better. Then those that many of these families and children are leaving behind. Against the big question here's what should the standard be what's the international standard. For what these children should experience in there and you know we hear complaints about the food and maybe the temperature or some of those things are quite subjective. Help us could sort of as he get a baseline for what we should be do judging all of this by. So are well editions that in one's own country is definitely not standard. And there are two questions around issue and children and the what's the standard and the second is cool thing you each and horrible bush. So this is that I. That is and he's twenty years lowers settlements. Which is actually quite detailed about transit conditions that we need to provide immigrant children tension that includes medical care. That includes Lou that includes water that includes a cells that are not freezing cold I was so that is clear and and national standards on both under convention on civil and political rights which requires that the US. I treat all immigrant he teeny with dignity. And also the convention on the rights of the child which the US has signed on to you is not a new question out we just seem to be rehashing them in a very disturbing. Yet that's for sure this is not something that had it had been. Are raised for some time even as these influx is migrants continued through the Obama administration Claudia. It let's talk about the deaths migrant child deaths for a second because they've disturbed so many people you saw the gripping testimony. Of that mother yes mean war as there you know the thought of so many of these kids being left helpless inside. Senators bothers a lot of Americans. Should the US government be held legally accountable for all of those cases is a lawyer where do you draw the line there on what the US should be responsible for. Well there are clean that allow the US government to be held accountable and agents of the US government when they're acting with an employment. There's also the possibility damages claims against individual agents. A huge issue here and and it NEU and the trump administration. Has gotten much worse and trying to administration. The kinds of questions we need to be asking is. Holt is responsible for accountability who's responsible for discipline was responsible for ensuring that agents in detention facilities actually meet these standards. Other research that has been done in the past including his clinic has found. That accountability mechanisms are extremely weak and customs and border tension an ice are generally. And went out real accountability mechanisms we can't expect the US government to actually meet standards. It's not an issue of funding it's an issue of internal institutional over all cash and it's great article is looking at an outright this has been an issue since the Obama administration. Children were reporting all sorts of abuses being punched and kicked by Border Patrol agents being held in freezing cells being denied medical care or sanitary napkins. This already happening since 2000 I. He and that's one reason why we've seen so many of these members of congress make he's very high profile trips to these facilities to try to. Juice up that accountability if you will on hold more hearings on the subject the administration has taken some steps though. To try to at least improve the care of these kids are Quinn no one is down in Texas today. In Curry's those springs. He just visited a brand new facility. Four opened by the Department of Health and Human Services to to take some of the pressure op that overcrowding the children Quinn I think you're joining us. By phone and we are also have some new pictures coming in of the facility from the Associated Press those cameras got inside. What did you see an air tell us about it all. I haven't yet I'm in right now on the ground for directory to bring facility we were given a pretty thorough act that the that it that would open up just a few weeks ago to handle this massive influx of migrants hit that. I've been seen at the border. Everything we've seen two here was clean and in order that doubt was. Prepared. This the and meet with represented at the media they came through today. Their wares colors that they've but it is still war. I'm outdoor play area but looking at a couple soccer field right now were hit there are allowed to come out and play. We've got in front of me is a multi purpose. Journey had its we're addicted. He'd end at church services on Sunday morning. It is the small town paper for unaccompanied kids here. And where they're getting cared for after they go through Border Patrol custody. We should be clear to everybody this is the Health and Human Services Department they are simply responsible for caring for the kids. I doing the best they can't after they've been processed and we were seen their Quinn the pictures on the screen as you were talking looks. Like a really nice facility and it's not lost than anybody that there's a reason why the government is letting the camera is in now after. Weeks of denying the cameras at what we're quite nice. Way what what were people saying where you were on scene narron in it is this sort of did typical of the other facilities you've looked at. Well this facility is too far under capacity actually it's built to accommodate met as many as thirteen hundred did. Right now there's just over 200 staying here. And that they're prepared to take many more if there's an incident another Haitian or if there is another surge of kids crossing the border. But what we're seeing here is a couple weeks out well resource facility there art security measures. All over there's counseling facility. We watched through. Period of medical and where it would Ontario again this but so this particular facility operating far under capacity. It was stood up to address the surge. We heard earlier today adds getting more details this week. That the number the total number of migrant including children as they line. In in recent weeks. And that of course just come bop they happen in what that we saw in May. And it and mail earlier in June and did well. Yeah let's put those numbers up for everybody just are modern at a news just in from the Customs and Border Protection. That there were or just over a 100000 apprehensions in the southern border in June that's down 28% significant decline. Some of that due to perhaps the warmer temperatures down at the southern border but a good chunk of that also attributed to the efforts of Mexico. Cracking down a migrants flowing through their country to the US quite knowing terrific reporting thank you so much. For that live report from the new children facility. In Texas.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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