Trump Administration Branded 'Twisted Monsters' For Trying To Delay Doctors' Visit to Detained Migrant Children

The former head of the U.S. Office of Government Ethics has condemned the Trump administration as "twisted monsters" for appearing to try to delay taking action to address "appalling" conditions at its detention facilities holding migrant children.

On Friday, U.S. District Judge Dolly Gee ordered the Trump administration to give health experts access to its detention facilities holding migrant children to assess their medical needs and ensure that they are being held in "safe and sanitary" conditions after reports last month revealed that children were receiving insufficient care.

The order came after lawyers asked Gee last week for emergency intervention in the Trump administration's treatment of migrant children after they found kids being forced to take care of one another, while being deprived of adequate access to food, water and basic sanitary items, such as soap and toothbrushes.

"Children are held for weeks in deplorable conditions, without access to soap, clean water, showers, clean clothing, toilets, toothbrushes, adequate nutrition or adequate sleep. The children, including infants and expectant mothers, are dirty, cold, hungry and sleep-deprived," the court filing, which was submitted by the Center for Human Rights & Constitutional Law (CHRCL) and a number of other organizations, said.

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In response, Gee has not only called for medical experts to be given access to U.S. detention facilities for migrant children, but has also given the Trump administration and plaintiffs a deadline of July 12 to file a joint status report on their mediation efforts, as well as what has been done to address the dire conditions described by attorneys.

According to CNN, however, Gee's ruling came despite attempts from the Trump administration to delay taking action until defendants had been given a chance to respond to the allegations against them.

Attorney General William Barr and other defendants asked that the court "set a schedule for briefing these issues that provides defendants with a full and fair opportunity to respond to the allegations that plaintiffs have lodged against them."

Former ethics chief Walter Shaub said he found the Trump administration's apparent resistance to be the "most horrifying" of the exchange.

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"The most horrifying part of this story is that the Justice Department fought to prevent these doctors from having access to the children, even making a last-ditch argument to delay the doctor visits for further briefs and arguments," Schaub said in a tweet, before branding the DoJ "twisted monsters."

The current complaint against the Trump administration is part of a decades-long legal battle over the Flores agreement and whether the government is meeting its requirement of "safe and sanitary" conditions in detention.

Attorneys have argued that the Trump administration has failed spectacularly in meeting those requirements, with Nicole Austin Hillery, Human Rights Watch's inaugural U.S. Program Executive Director, telling Newsweek that she was left horrified by the "heartwrenching circumstances" she saw children being subjected to under the federal government's care.

"All of the children that we encountered were clearly frightened. They were often in tears," she said, before describing how children complained of hunger, lack of adequate sleep and insufficient access to food, water and basic sanitation.

Clint detention children
A temporary facility set up to hold migrants is pictured at a United States Border Patrol Station in Clint, Texas, on June 25, 2019. Lawyers who were able to tour the facility said they witnessed 'appalling' conditions, with children's basic health and sanitary needs being denied. Paul Ratje/AFP/Getty
Trump Administration Branded 'Twisted Monsters' For Trying To Delay Doctors' Visit to Detained Migrant Children | U.S.