Transcript for Children's humanitarian crisis at the border in the spotlight
We begin with the mount teen humanitarian crisis at the border and perhaps. Most disturbing the devastating ways in which it's affecting hung hundreds of immigrant children new reports out. Of Clint and McAllen Texas are detaining a horrific picture children as young as infants being held for long periods of time. Without their parents no soap no water no wait a baby sleeping on concrete floors with the lights on 24 hours a day ABC news spoke exclusively. To a Doctor Who toured one of these places and was horrified by what she saw also take a listen. I mean their I don't guidelines for basic sanitation for everything at church you know promoting Health Department or jacares for schools. Or even for juvenile detention centers. This felt worse than jail just felt. You know lawless is a again I hate to be extreme there but. I believed I believed. And we think America. I believe the conditions at these facilities are placing them at increased risk for infection. Disease and death. I believe the 24 hour lights. Are causing permanent damage to the development of their young Britons. Yeah it's hard to imagine this as a parent it's hard to imagine this as a human being so I wanna see honest conversation and bring in clear along. I'm a senior researcher for Human Rights Watch and we also have lama's act in our DC bureau. Not lot of you interviewed the doctor that we just heard from what was your biggest take away when you sat down with her. Well. Doctor. Eric Dolly severe as a pediatrician she is a local doctor there in McAllen Texas though. She wasn't wading into this and to this bigger debate about politics and immigration. She and she wouldn't even really touring the facility she was seeing. Children patients and chief and two thirds of them were sick. And it was the type of situation that if she was seeing these patients in her practice she would have called Child Protective Services because. It was unconscionable. To her the way than they were treated she described. One child who came in with an out but a makeshift outfit out of diapers because. His own album had been soiled by feces he was the baby and know that that's what happens to be than they need to be able to change their clothes. But they weren't given any additional clothes they weren't given access to running water I couldn't understand. How that was possible and she said that it was. Essentially Porta potty that they had been provided with for their facility so there wasn't running water than they could wash their hands and it was himself and so when you have a baby. Who need bottles famine times and washed after every single feeding. That wasn't happening incidentally in re using the same models for days on end without being able to watch them are sanitize them. It is not up to the standards of international law and is not up to the standards of the morals of the United States. Of America in lecture they are being held in protective custody. Yeah it's apps. Really unbelievable unclear you've been working with a team who's monitoring this is well can you describe indeed tell. What you have seen a while you were there. I was and it facility hundreds of miles away packing your expense from the let me just this guy I have to city conditions. Are similar you have kids are sleeping on the floor mini city don't have match and says it don't have access to so. They don't they say that they can't take a shower as many days and weeks that they had want her to shower and no need to change they close their clothes you block dirty. Peace now dirty. There are infants and toddlers I'm. Others in particular who are the weapons separated from adult and a numbers with him their traveling. And we couldn't get any story about them they were simply being cared for by unrelated. Adolescents over or even younger in ourselves these kids so that they weren't how DNA kids I change their diapers and and get through. And I was happening. We learned from kids are being held in a flu quarantine zone even for kids are sick they were just thrown into this week quarantine now and know when to her. So do we can do you know why the kids are actually staying in these facilities for so long it's supposed to be short term but it's ending up being. 34 weeks sometimes. It's. Right. US law says that under typical circumstances out an exceptional circumstances you can not seeing these facilities from more than 72 hours on accompany kids in particular and government is clinging to each has of the hot they're relatively higher number rivals and a quarter. They've been unable to move these kids on to assist in a detention centers and shelters run by the opposite resettlement. When you look closely you seen that reason why there are no spaces that and not assistant is because the government is using the kids in the shelters and designers. At eight for immigration enforcement and screening everybody who comes florid. If you take them. To see if there weren't her arrest and right going to arrest and has backed up the system is slowed down assistant and and it's a big reason why. There are not enough spaces to new kids out of the border jails we're now they're being held for unprecedented. Lengths of time my how is. The trump administration. Justifying these conditions. Well president from said that days when he fell feels like they are doing a great job at the border. By his vice president patents was really pressed on this question about whether children as a basic condition. Should be given toothbrushes to his place access to running water silt. And and the vice presidents and he act that that should happen. We are waiting to see if they will take action those congress is is expected to. Be debating of funding allocation Melvin this week Nancy Pelosi the speaker of the house so that she planned to put it on the docket will be watching that. And wall to me wanting to see if the trump administration decides to make any actions to release these children. By one estimation 70% of children in these holding facilities who have been there for more than 72 hours have a relative here in the United States. That wants to take them one child wearing bracelet that said the name and phone number of the relative living in the United States but as as Clara said. Right now they aren't being released him. And Claire and. We have even an idea I'm in your opinion what the first step would be to begin fixing this. The first step that congress can take right now. Is to stop that backlog of children. And working to lay in some refugee resettlement system that system and about it detention centers and shelters that they're supposed to be transferred to it. Congress can. Stop the use of children for immigration enforcement that will help smooth out of the show there's more quickly it will help you. Move out of ordered jailed and into shelters. Not more quickly and and I can be done immediately the child administration has sent. They want to fix this by building more jails and more detention centers and not in nineteen it's not answer the answer. Is to responsibly to unify as swiftly as well. Unbelievable it's devastating I want Embree Aaron one I think I'm Claire along and I want to thank lot of Zack in DC thank you guys for giving us the updates we appreciate that.
This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.