Migrant parents and children housed in Texas detention centers must have access to basic necessities, including sufficient food, clean water, clean beds, and health and educational services.
That is the message of a letter sent last week to state leaders and Texas lawmakers from several organizations, including the Texas Medical Association.
The letter follows numerous accounts of children and adults being held for extended periods in Texas-based detention facilities.
“As individuals and organizations dedicated to improving the lives of women and children in Texas, we are writing to express our deep concern over the reported treatment of parents and children held in immigration detention facilities on Texas soil,” the letter says. “Numerous accounts by Republican and Democratic elected officials, lawyers, health professionals, and Border Patrol agents indicated that many migrants are living in overcrowded conditions without access to sufficient food, clean water, clean clothing, bathing facilities or appropriate bedding and protection from the elements.”
The letter, which TMA President David Fleeger, MD, signed on behalf of the association, applauds recent legislation that provides humanitarian aid to improve the living conditions child migrants in the care of U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
“We urge you to support additional measures to ensure that all children and parents who are in the care of the federal government, no matter their country of origin, receive compassionate, humane, and fair treatment,” the letter says. “Migrant children who are in U.S. custody awaiting review of their asylum requests should reside in safe and clean environments with their parents, relatives or sponsors.”
The letter was sent to Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, U.S. Sens. John Cornyn and Ted Cruz, the 36 members of the Texas delegation in the U.S. House of Representatives, and the 181 members of the Texas Legislature.
Photo: U.S. Customs and Border Protection