The incoming president of the American Academy of Pediatrics toured two Customs and Border Protection (CBP) facilities last week and told CBS News the detention centers are no place for children. Dr. Sara Goza received pictures from a social worker that were drawn by children recently released from CBP custody, showing them in cages.
“When they opened the door, the first thing that … hit us was a smell. It was the smell of sweat, urine and feces,” Goza said. “And I heard crinkling to my left and I looked over there and it was a sea of silver … there were young children, boys in there. Unaccompanied boys in there.”
Goza described a room full of silent children “and they had no expression on their faces, there was no laughing, there was no joking, no talking.” She said all she could hear was the rustle of those silver Mylar blankets.
“I describe them almost like dog cages with people in each of them,” she said. “And the silence was just hard to watch, hard to see.”
Democrats on Capitol Hill want to hear from top immigration officials about an explosive new report from the Homeland Security Department’s inspector general, claiming conditions at Border Patrol facilities are so bad, one manager called them a “ticking time bomb.” The unannounced inspections were made to five facilities.
Some children lacked access to showers, hot meals or changes of clothes. Thirty one percent of kids were held longer than the 72 hours allowed – with some being held more than two weeks. At one facility, according to the report, some adults were held in standing room only conditions for a week.
The findings follow a recent visit where Democrats including Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Julián Castro toured facilities in Texas and claimed to have seen “horrifying” conditions.