Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel has signed an amicus brief advocating for migrant children detained by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP).
Nessel announced Tuesday that she’s part of a coalition of 20 attorneys general taking action to force U.S. CBP to keep immigrant children in safe, sanitary settings. In its brief, the coalition urged the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California to grant immediate relief to remedy the imminent threat to the health and welfare of immigrant children detained by CBP.
“Our federal government is forcing these children to be held in the most degrading, horrific conditions imaginable, while they fear for their safety and are separated from their loved ones,” said Nessel. “I am ashamed and appalled at the unconscionable and callous treatment of innocent children and I refuse to stand down when we have the power of federal law on our side. I didn’t run for this office so I could twiddle my thumbs and watch idly on the sidelines while the [President] Trump Administration treats toddlers worse than war criminals.”
Numerous news reports have said that immigrant children in the facilities have not had access to soap, toothbrushes and beds. Several Democratic members of Congress, including U.S. Reps. Brenda Lawrence (D-Southfield) and Rashida Tlaib (D-Detroit), have visited detention centers on the southern border and have called attention to deplorable conditions.
For more than two decades, the federal government has been required to meet minimum standards for the facilities in which immigrant children may be confined, established in the Flores Settlement Agreement, Nessel’s office said.
The coalition of AGs, led by California and Massachusetts, also includes those from Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington and the District of Columbia.