Border facilities' conditions unhealthy for children: Doctor

Pediatricians advocate for increased health care in migrant detention facilities.
4:47 | 07/15/19

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Transcript for Border facilities' conditions unhealthy for children: Doctor
And guys in the meantime those nationwide ice raids were not as severe as originally expected but the fear they're causing that's still there are undocumented immigrants on alert. Living with the idea that their lives could be altered for ever at any time and this comes amid a major humanitarian crisis at the border. Vice president pensive visiting one of those detention centers over the weekend and we need to remind you about the conditions there families are separated children are spending weeks on cold floors with little water and food. Lights on 24 hours a day and at its worst reports of sexual assaults I want to bring in. Doctor Alan Shapiro. He's the senior medical director for the council on community pediatrics. Doctor Shapiro thanks for being here and you've been in these facilities can you tell us what your experience has been. Yes thanks so much for inviting me today com. And so just to be clear I am the senior medical director for community pediatric programs at month lecturer I'm hospital. Ally in the Bronx and the co-founder and medical director at terra firma a medical legal partnership for unaccompanied immigrant children and families seeking safe Hayden. I'm I do work very closely with the American academy of pediatrics and must the co author. I'm immigrant children in detention and Tom you know part of us writing that policy statement was you. Go to the border and go into those detention centers and see what the conditions were like first hand and what we saw was very worried some and that was a couple of years ago. Com the conditions at the border the conditions in the detention centers. The conditions for children on the Mexican side of the border as well. Arm is very concerning and in my mind really plays his children in grave danger and I saw that first hand on her recent trip. Not you TOY. Annan. Yes so you mentioned that the paper that you Rhode besides describing the conditions what else were you guys trying to say what were their solutions what were you guys offering in this on this paper. So you let me just step back for 12 of thing that we must remember. I'm there's a couple of key points first of all children are children. Children are not smaller dolls. Children do not leave the country voluntarily. Children are fleeing for their lives. I see this in the hundreds and hundreds of children that have cared for. In terra firma in our health center. Could tell us the stories. I'm of terror that they have faced in their home countries should be taken very perilous and Terry arduous journey to the board Turkish and they end up in art and then in our detention system and so our detention system. Pass to be a place to the first safe haven for children shall it has the BSE paved and tested each child friendly. Have she nutrition owns it has and child welfare experts. Has that child psychologist. It cannot be staffed by law enforcement's that is not the right. Staffing for children who have suffered so much try ma already. On that the detention system should feel. Like finally they arrived in a safe place. On and unfortunately what we see is that these centers are not safe places for children and alternately a traumatize children even further. I'm and what he he sorry go ahead now you go that I wanna hear we have the same pressure. So we feel very strongly net arm we need pediatric experts child welfare experts. In these detention centers to greet children to make sure they're healthy arm and not an inch guilty hatch. Any changes in their health status. As soon as possible and and and very sadly over the last year we heard about six children that have died that have come out of detention centers and that the problem. It's is that children are getting care to lady. And ease are children that are weak. I'm that are hungry that have been exposed to elements that are very scared. Amen and who we need to be in those centers. Arm where at the moment they arrived. Arm and unfortunately that's not what happens and children can get sick and very quickly and and how the consequences that we have seen. All right doctor Allen Shapiro we appreciate you being with us yes major. Humanitarian crisis that needs to be fixed thank you.

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

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