The Trump administration went to court this week to argue that migrant children detained at the United States-Mexico border do not require basic hygiene products like soap and toothbrushes in order to be in held in “safe and sanitary” conditions. Trump’s team also argued that requiring minors to sleep on cold concrete floors in crowded cells with low temperatures similarly fulfilled that requirement.
Arguing in a 9th district San Francisco court about the conditions that they must hold migrant children in, the administration said that they did not violate a precedent set by a landmark 1985 class action lawsuit which established guidelines for the way minors held in federal immigration detention must be treated. The case, Jenny Lisette Flores v. Edwin Meese, created rules around the timely release of migrant minors to their parents, and said that those not released must be kept in facilities that are “safe and sanitary.”
But on Tuesday, the Justice Department’s Sarah Fabian claimed that the ruling did not list specific requirements like “toothbrushes” or “towels,” to establish a sanitary condition.
“One has to assume it was left that way and not enumerated by the parties because either the parties couldn’t reach agreement on how to enumerate that or it was left to the agencies to determine,” Fabian said to the three Clinton-appointed federal judges on the court.
“You’re really going to stand up and tell us that being able to sleep isn’t a question of safe and sanitary conditions?” U.S. Circuit Judge Marsha Berzon asked Fabian.
Other judges also expressed outrage. [Continue reading…]