Federal Judge Orders CBP to Address Conditions in Processing Centers
MCALLEN – A federal judge reached a decision on concerns raised by immigration attorneys after visiting Customs and Border Protection facilities housing migrant children in Texas, including the Rio Grande Valley.
On Wednesday, the Center for Human Rights and Constitutional Law filed a temporary restraining order against the government after inspections of facilities in McAllen and El Paso were out of compliance with the terms agreed to in 1997 as part of the Flores Settlement.
The court order cited specific concerns with unsanitary conditions, access to clean drinking water, access to adequate food, cold temperatures, sleeping conditions and denial of emergency services at both facilities.
The order requested immediate inspections, access for medical professionals to certain facilities, the expedited release of certain children and finding the government in contempt of the court.
In a response filed Thursday by the government, attorneys contend they need more time to prepare.
They also requested the court deny the plaintiffs who they believe "seek to alter – not preserve – the status quo."
By Friday, United States District Court Judge Dolly M. Gee in the Central District of California decided to have both parties enter mediation with a monitor.
They are ordered to work together in good faith to "facilitate the prompt remediation of the conditions at issue, including the retention of an independent public health expert."
They will also need to file a report by July 12 detailing their efforts and describing what they've done to address the conditions at the CBP facilities in question.
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