The Trump administration argued in court this week that detained migrant children do not require basic hygiene products (like soap and toothbrushes) to be held in "safe and sanitary" conditions. Lawyers who recently interviewed detained children report that kids are living in "traumatic and dangerous" conditions - insufficient food and water, going weeks without bathing, kids as young as 7 years old being told to care for the babies and toddlers.
Parents and other adults in detention aren't faring any better. In one processing center in El Paso, a cell designed for 12 people was crammed with 76, causing migrants to stand on the toilets for breathing space. Up to 900 migrants were held at another facility designed for 125. In another case, a teenage mother holding a sick and dirty premature baby spent 9 days detained without access to medical care for her newborn. They "wouldn't give her any water to wash [the baby]."
Doing nothing in the face of these atrocities is not an option.
On November 8, 2018, attorney Nancy Arevalo responded to a call for Spanish-speaking immigration attorneys willing to travel to Mexico to provide legal help to refugees traveling with the migrant caravan.
Just two days later, with support from the L4GG (Lawyers for Good Government) Foundation’s Project Corazon Travel Fund, Nancy was on a flight to Queratoro, Mexico. We asked Nancy to share what she experienced in her own words, which are excerpted below.