Migrant preteens as young as 10 years old have been left to care for toddlers at a Texas border facility where a 2-year-old boy was seen in soiled pants and no diaper during a recent visit, lawyers told the Associated Press. A legal team that interviewed 60 kids at the Border Patrol detention facility in Clint this week also warned of poor sanitation and inadequate water and food, with some children reportedly saying they haven’t gotten a bath in weeks. Three girls between the ages of 10 and 15 told lawyers they were left in charge of the 2-year-old boy, who does not yet speak. “A Border Patrol agent came in our room with a 2-year-old boy and asked us, ‘Who wants to take care of this little boy?’ Another girl said she would take care of him, but she lost interest after a few hours and so I started taking care of him yesterday,” one of the girls was quoted as saying.
There are reportedly dozens of children under 12 at the facility, 15 of whom have the flu, with 10 quarantined. Children at the facility reportedly said they were fed oatmeal, instant noodles, and burritos for their meals, but had no fruits or vegetables. Lawyers who spoke to the AP about their recent visit said it was unheard of for children to be left to take care for toddlers in such conditions. “In my 22 years of doing visits with children in detention, I have never heard of this level of inhumanity,” Holly Cooper, who represents detained youth, was quoted as saying. The details come after acting Customs and Border Protection Commissioner John Sanders admitted this week that the agency is over capacity and struggling to deal with unaccompanied migrant children. The agency is holding 15,000 people, he said, while 4,000 is considered the limit.