Court says detained migrant children must get soap
During a June hearing, Justice Department lawyer Sarah Fabian argued that the Flores Agreement — which set a nationwide standard for the treatment of migrant children in custody — was vague and therefore, “it was left to the agencies to determine” what sanitation protocols to follow.
The judges appeared incredulous during the hearing.
“It’s within everybody’s common understanding: If you don’t have a toothbrush, if you don’t have soap, if you don’t have a blanket, it’s not safe and sanitary. Wouldn’t everybody agree to that? Do you agree to that?” Judge Wallace Tashima asked Fabian.
Another member of the panel, Judge Marsha Berzon, grilled Fabian on the sleeping conditions for children spending the night on concrete floors in crowded, frigid, brightly-lit cells.
“You’re really going stand up and tell us that being able to sleep isn’t a question of safe and sanitary conditions?” asked Berzon, who wrote the court’s dismissal.
In the ruling, she wrote: “Those determinations reflect a commonsense understanding of what the quoted language requires. Assuring that children eat enough edible food, drink clean water, are housed in hygienic facilities with sanitary bathrooms, have soap and toothpaste, and are not sleep deprived are without doubt essential to the children’s safety.”
Leave a Reply