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Over 100 migrant children returned to 'horrific' border station



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The facility in Clint, Texas, has more than 255 children
                

More than 1

00 migrant children have been returned to a Texas border station just a day after being moved out, a US border official has confirmed.

Some 250 migrant children were transferred from the overcrowded station following a scathing report on its conditions given by judge said the children were severely neglected.

Amid the controversy over detained migrant children, officially said he was stepping down.

A Customs and Border Protection (CBP) official confirmed to the BBC on Tuesday that about 100 migrant children were returned to the facility.

The agency also confirmed that its acting commissioner, John Sanders, would be leaving his role on July 5.

Mr. Sanders announced his resignation in an email to CBP staff, obtained by US media.

"Although I will leave it to you determine whether I was successful, I can say that helping support the amazing men and women of CBP has been the most fulfilling and satisfying opportunity of my career," he wrote.

The New York Times reported the children were transported back to the Texas border station after it had made changes to its overcrowding. They had been held at the facility for weeks.

It comes as the number of migrants apprehended at the border surged in May to the highest level since 2006.

What were the conditions like?

One of the lawyers who visited the Clint facility in Texas told the BBC that children were "locked up in horrific cells where there is an open toilet in the middle of the room" where they ate and slept.

"There was nobody taking care of these children … they were not being bathed on a regular base, "Prof Warren Binford of Williamette University in Oregon said.

" Several hundred of the children were kept in a warehouse that was recently erected on the facility grounds. "Media playback is unsupported on your device [19659021] Media caption Justice department says toothbrush and soap not required for migrants

"The cells are overcrowded … there is a lice infestation there, there is an influenza outbreak. Children are being locked up in isolation with no adult supervision, who a Reora, "" They were wearing the same dirty clothing they crossed the border with.

19659007] "It is degrading and inhumane and shouldn't be happening in America."

As stories of substandard conditions in facilities have continued to emerge, some volunteers have tried to donate supplies – only to be turned away by border officials.

One group customs the Texas Tribune they spent $ 340 (£ 267) on nappies, wet wipes, soaps and toys for the Clint facility, but were ignored by all agents on duty.

Another local resident who tried to visit the Clint station told the tribune: "Knowing what's happening in your community and that can't give these kids supplies to clean or clothe themselves – it's heartbreaking."

Texas Democratic state congressman Terry Canales later tweeted that Border Patrol also told his office "they do now t accept donations ".

What did the authorities say?

In a statement, the border authority acknowledged that the Clint facility was not suited to the task.

" US Customs and Border Protection delivered our limited resources to

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Media caption The sound of migrant children separated from parents (Footage from 2018) [19659022] "As our leadership have noted numerous times, our short-term holding facilities were not designed to hold vulnerable populations, and we urgently need additional humanitarian funding to manage this crisis." The agency said it had moved children to more available facilities as soon as space was available.

On Monday, Democratic Representative Veronica Escobar, who had been deeply critical of the reported conditions, said she had been admitted to only 30 children in e Clint facility

What are lawmakers doing?

in emergency aid for the border, but the issue has divided liberals, particularly those in Hispanic and Progressive Caucuses.

Some lawmakers, including liberal Democrat Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, say the additional funding could be used by the White House to continue raids and detentions

"I will not find another dime to allow ICE to continue its manipulative tactics," Ms. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said to US media.

Others, like Appropriations Committee chair Nita Lowey, said her fellow Democrats should not allow states that President Donald Trump "to blind us to the horrific conditions at facilities along the border as the agencies run out of money".

The most powerful elected Democrat, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, with her rank and file members on Monday to discuss the bill ahead of a Tuesday vote.

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Media caption A lawyer who visited the center in Texas tells BBC Newsday what she saw

Democratic leaders said they would add language to the bill to ensure higher standards of medical care and nutrition for migrants in US custody.

They also want to have a three-month limit for any unaccompanied child migrant to spend on a shelter.

agency that detains migrants who illegally re-enter the country after deportation.

The White House has already threatened to veto the bill, saying it does not provide adequate funding to meet the current crisis and … Republicans are siding with the administration, as opposed to the migrant facility standards being pushed by the Democrats.

The Trump administration has requested more funding for Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the Departments of Defense and Homeland Security.

The separation of migrant children from their parents began in 2018 under a new "zero tolerance" policy from Mr Trump's administration. It saw nearly 3,000 children separated before it was suspended.

Under the policy, announced in May 2018, those who crossed the border illegally to be prosecuted – which required their children to be taken into care.

  • Migrant family separation : The big picture explained
  • What is Donald Trump's family-separation endgame?

Yet the US Government Accountability Office has reported that neither the Department of Homeland Security nor the Department of Health and Human Services was aware of the policy before it

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Media caption US child migrants: Five things to know

There are also limits set by the US authorities on how many people can claim asylum each day, resulting in a waiting period that can last months.

Some migrants and their families are instead attempting dangerous crossings go from the official ports of entry, or rely on people smugglers to make the journey.

to toddler, were found dead in Texas this week at US Border Patrol. They are thought to have died from heat exposure.


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