The New York Times pushed back on Sunday after President Donald Trump denied their new report about ugly conditions at an overcrowded migrant detention center in Clint, Texas.
We are confident in the accuracy of our reporting on the U.S. Border Patrol’s detention centers. Here’s how we reported today’s front-page article on the squalid conditions at the migrant detention center in Clint, Texas. Read the story here: https://t.co/4TlleeZCTg pic.twitter.com/IrxgOR9EZ1
— NYTimes Communications (@NYTimesPR) July 7, 2019
The report covered details about life at an understaffed Border Patrol station in Clint. The outlet used the phrase “stuff of nightmares” to describe conditions. Here are some examples.
- Outbreaks of diseases like scabies, shingles and chickenpox. An inspector’s report found that there was evidence of a lice infestation.
- Children held in cramped cells, often without beds.
- One girl apparently seemed likely enough to attempt suicide that the agents made her sleep on a cot in front of them so they could observe her while they processed new arrivals.
- Three Clint agents said they’ve seen children as young as age 3. Lawyers who inspected the site said they saw kids as young as 5 months old.
- One of the agents is reported as saying they recruited the 16- and 17-year-old detainees to help change diapers of the younger kids. That’s assuming they even have diapers. The kids often lack access to hygiene products like toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap, and diapers, according to lawyers who visited the site.
“It gets to a point where you start to become a robot,” said a Border Patrol agent who worked for the site since it opened in 2013. He said he was ordered to take beds from the kids to make space in the holding cells, according to the report. He said this was daily routine.
Another agent said she would sometimes see the children crying because they missed their parents.
“It’s never because they’re mistreated,” she said. “It’s because they’re homesick.”
Trump said the outlet was releasing “phony and exaggerated accounts” of life at detention centers.
[Image via Mario Tama/Getty Images]