U.S. border agency acting head resigns amid child detentions outcry

Wednesday, 26 Jun, 2019

In a copy of a message to employees published by Axios, Sanders said his resignation is effective July 5.

Mr Sanders' departure coincides with the revelation of unsanitary detention conditions for children at an overcrowded Border Patrol facility in Clint, Texas, a sign of the increasing strain on resources due to soaring numbers of arrests at the US-Mexico border. - Lawyers who were able to tour the facility under the Flores Settlement, which governs detention conditions for migrant children, said they witnessed inhumane conditions of overcrowding, and about 250 children being held over the limit of 72 hours, some saying they were there for weeks in overcrowded cells. On Tuesday, about 100 of the children were sent back there because of a lack of bed space.

Six children have died since late a year ago after being detained by the agency along the US-Mexico border.

Sanders has led the agency since April, when Trump reshuffled the management of us immigration agencies under the Department of Homeland Security.

Former ICE acting director Thomas Homan, a Trump administration ally, then went on television to accuse McAleenan of leaking information about the operation because he opposed it.

In this May 15, 2019 file photo, acting U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner John Sanders, left, joins Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham on Capitol Hill in Washington. "Do you agree with that?" said Judge Atsushi Wallace Tashima.

He told the Texas Tribune on Monday: 'A good friend of mine is an immigration attorney, and he warned us that we were going to get rejected.

USA law requires unaccompanied minors to be returned to their parents or transferred to Health and Human Services facilities within 72 hours.

Border Patrol officials have not responded to reporters' questions about the conditions at the Clint facility, but emailed a statement to the Associated Press that said: "Our short-term holding facilities were not created to hold vulnerable populations and we urgently need additional humanitarian funding to manage this crisis".

CBP's facilities at the Mexican border were nearly all built when most people crossing the border illegally were single adults.

The unprecedented surge of migrant families has left US immigration detention centers severely overcrowded and taxed the government's ability to provide medical care and other attention.

'Hopefully they say yes, but we want to show that these are not circumstances preventing these children from being taken care of, but a policy, ' Savage continued.

"These children need to be with their families".

Democrats in the House of Representatives have been trying to push through a $US4.5 billion bill ($NZ6.7b) in emergency aid for the border, but the issue has divided liberals, particularly those in the Hispanic and Progressive Caucuses.

The Clint detention centre in Texas where several children have been kept in "horrific" conditions.

Following a week of tense negotiations, Mexico agreed to reinforce its southern border with 6,000 National Guardsmen and expand its policy of taking back migrants while the USA processes their asylum claims.

Texas Democratic state congressman Terry Canales later tweeted that Border Patrol also told his office "they do not accept donations". At the McAllen center, Gialluca said, everyone she spoke with said they sought out Border Patrol agents after crossing the Rio Grande so they could request asylum.