Legal aid groups litigating on behalf of those detained by U.S. Customs & Border Patrol and ICE must press the courts for access to all of the facilities by human rights and relief workers on an exigent basis.
What has already been clearly documented is a pattern of human rights and child abuse so pervasive that it has led to at least six child mortalities under the government's well-documented negligent care.
The courts must order:
- That the aid workers, including UN observers, have access to document conditions and provide whatever care is required for the health and safety of those being detained on an ongoing basis.
- That aid workers have the authority to modify living conditions as needed to maintain the basic health and human dignity of those being detained.
- That aid workers have the capacity to take whatever steps necessary to reunite children with family members.
- That aid workers have the right to document conditions photographically, provided those images do not reveal the identities of the detainees to the public. In addition, courts should allow such documentation to be conducted in a manner consistent with family reunification efforts.
- That, in light of the gross negligence and malice demonstrated by the government in its care of immigration detainees, the court should hear arguments for financial compensation to the aid organizations who provide care.
The time for an aggressive, concerted relief effort has come. The government, in pursuit of political ends, has knowingly and willfully engaged in a pattern of unlawful abuse that tramples upon all relevant US and international laws, treaties, and norms.
An emergency has been intentionally created by the government. In light of the emergency that by the government's hand now demonstrably exists, the courts must act on an emergency basis to allow aid to the families and children in all US immigration detention facilities.
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