Trump Administration Argues Migrant Children Not Entitled To Soap, Toothbrushes, Beds

Trump Administration Argues Migrant Children Not Entitled To Soap, Toothbrushes, Beds June 21, 2019

What have we become? In a heart-breaking development the Trump administration argues that the government is not required to provide toothbrushes, soap, or even beds to migrant children being detained at the border.

Newsweek reports:

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.

HuffPost reports:

A Justice Department attorney this week argued in court that the federal government should not be required to provide soap, toothbrushes or even beds to detained children apprehended at the U.S.-Mexico border.

Government lawyer Sarah Fabian argued Tuesday before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit that forcing children to sleep on cold concrete floors in cells is both “safe and sanitary.”

Appearing before a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco on Tuesday, Justice Department attorney Sarah Fabian defended the draconian and deplorable Trump administration policies toward migrant children being held in concentration camps in the U.S.

All three judges expressed astonishment and disbelief at the dishonest and callous attitude of the Trump administration’s policies.

For example, U.S. Circuit Judge Marsha Berzon asked Fabian:

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 William Fletcher asked Fabian:

Are you arguing seriously that you do not read the agreement as requiring you to do anything other than what I just described: cold all night long, lights on all night long, sleeping on concrete and you’ve got an aluminum foil blanket? I find that inconceivable that the government would say that that is safe and sanitary.

The following is a partial transcript of an exchange between Judge Wallace Tashima and Justice Department attorney Fabian:

Judge Wallace Tashima: “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 with that? Do you agree with that?”

Sarah Fabian: “Well, I think it’s—I think those are—there is fair reason to find that those things may be part of safe and sanitary.”

Judge Wallace Tashima: “Not ‘may be.’ ‘Are’ a part. What do you say, ‘may be’? You mean there are circumstances when a person doesn’t need to have a toothbrush, toothpaste and soap for days?”

Sarah Fabian: “Well, I think, in CBP custody, there’s—it’s frequently intended to be much shorter-term, so it may be that for a shorter-term stay in CBP custody that some of those things may not be required.”

Judge Marsha Berzon also pointed out that detained children have been forced to sleep on cold cement floors with just an aluminum blanket.

Judge Marsha Berzon: “Are you really going to stand up and tell us that being able to sleep isn’t a question of safe and sanitary conditions?”

Sarah Fabian: “Your Honor, I think what I’d like to—what I’d like to stand up and say”—

Judge Marsha Berzon: “Not really going to say that.”

Sarah Fabian: —”is the focus—is to focus the court on what—what the question is.”

Watch the entire exchange before the 9th Circuit below:

Newsweek notes:

At least seven migrant children have died in U.S. custody since late 2018 when the president began his policy of detaining them separately from their families…

The exact number of children who had died under the care of the federal government is unknown because of a law that does not require various agencies to report deaths.

This week, the ACLU found a migrant teenager in the care of Texas border control nursing her prematurely-born baby without any proper medical care.

Bottom line:  the Trump administration argues in federal court that the government is not required to provide toothbrushes, soap, or even beds to migrant children being detained at the border.

Trump Administration Argues Migrant Children Not Entitled To Soap, Toothbrushes, Beds (Image via YouTube)

Trump Administration Argues Migrant Children Not Entitled To Soap, Toothbrushes, Beds (Image via YouTube)


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