Children speak of sickness and neglect in US asylum camps

Children speak of sickness and neglect in US asylum camps
The Donna temporary facility pictured in late March. Source: REUTERS
2 Min Read

Daily US Times: The United States has a vast system of asylum camps scattered across the country. Those sites are currently holding more than 20,000 migrant children. The poor condition of these sites like- cold temperatures, lice, sickness, neglect and filth, are undercovered by BBC through a series of interviews with children and staff.

It was midnight on the Rio Grande detention site – where more than half of them were children. Over March and April, more than 36,000 children crossed into the United States unaccompanied by an adult. This was a record high of migrant coming for recent years.

Many children travelling alone set out on their journey hoping to reunite with a parent already living in the US. The US government said more than 80% of them already have a family member in the country.

President Biden has opened the border to unaccompanied children seeking asylum, somewhat relaxing former President Donald Trump’s policy of turning migrants away due to coronavirus pandemic.

In late March, CBP released disturbing images of cramped conditions within one particular migrant asylum facility it runs in Donna, Texas – a mass of enormous white tents looming above the small town. The facility has capacity of holding 250 people but housed more than 4,000 at peak occupancy.

Children are suffering with cold conditions there, according to some children who spoke with BBC. With children sleeping and eating in close quarters, the cubicles quickly became rancid.

Ten-year-old Ariany said the guards threatened the children if they didn’t keep their cramped quarters clean.

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