Court Upholds Ruling That Children Held at Border Have Adequate Food, Bedding
SAN FRANCISCO — In a closely watched case, a federal appeals court Thursday upheld an order requiring immigration authorities to provide children detained at the border with adequate food, water, bedding, toothbrushes and soap.
A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected an appeal by the Trump administration to an order by a federal judge in Los Angeles who found the government was violating a 1997 settlement by failing to provide detained minors with safe and sanitary conditions.
U.S. District Judge Dolly Gee issued the order in 2017 after finding that minors in U.S. Customs and Border Protection custody were held in conditions that deprived them of sleep and did not have adequate food, clean water or basic hygiene items. The settlement, known as the Flores agreement, required the children be given safe and sanitary quarters.
The government appealed, arguing the order changed the settlement agreement. The original settlement said nothing about allowing children to sleep or wash themselves with soap, the federal government said.
The 9th Circuit disagreed, saying the enumerated items ordered by the judge fell under the settlement’s requirement that children be kept in safe and sanitary conditions.
“Assuring that children eat enough edible food, drink clean water, are housed in hygienic facilities with sanitary bathrooms, have soap and toothpaste, and are not sleep-deprived are without doubt essential to the children’s safety,” the court said.
A video of the 9th Circuit hearing on the case in June went viral. It showed an astonished judge pressing a lawyer for the Trump administration to concede that having soap and toothbrushes were a necessary requirement for sanitary conditions.
The trial court issued the order after finding minors were “not receiving hot, edible or a sufficient number of meals during a given day,” lacked clean drinking water, clean bedding, toothbrushes, soap and towels, endured “sleep deprivation” as a result of cold temperatures, overcrowding, lack of proper bedding and constant lighting.
©2019 Los Angeles Times
Visit the Los Angeles Times at www.latimes.com
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
In The News
WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Department of Justice's chief internal investigator told a House panel on Tuesday that he and his colleagues across federal departments need more subpoena power to help protect whistleblowers alleging fraud and other malfeasance. DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz offered that assessment in... Read More
A divided federal appeals court overturned election rules in Arizona Monday on the grounds they discriminate against black, Latino and Native American voters. In a 7-4 ruling, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals struck down an Arizona requirement that ballots cast in the wrong precinct... Read More
WASHINGTON - The District of Columbia is suing the Trump inaugural committee and the two companies that control the Trump International Hotel here, accusing them of abusing nonprofit funds to benefit the president's family. The city's attorney general, Karl Racine, announced the filing of the complaint... Read More
WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected a request that it resolve a dispute over the authority of a judge to order the disclosure of secret grand jury material in rare circumstances. The underlying case stems from a researcher's 40-year quest to solve the disappearance... Read More
WASHINGTON - The White House violated federal law in withholding security assistance to Ukraine, one of the actions that set the stage for President Donald Trump's impending impeachment trial in the Senate, a nonpartisan federal watchdog said Thursday. In a long-awaited report released mere moments before... Read More
WASHINGTON - Environmentalists won an appeals court ruling in Washington, D.C. last week protecting ocean marine national monuments. Marine national monuments refer to offshore underwater areas intended to protect coral reefs or wildlife. There are five of them in U.S. territorial waters. The U.S. Court of... Read More