‘We’re in a Dark Place’: Children Returned to Troubled Texas Border Facility – The New York Times

Asked if his administration’s policies were to blame, Mr. Trump said the conditions existed because Democrats in Congress would not agree to policy changes that would stanch the flow of migrants across the border. “All I can say is that if they change the law, you wouldn’t have it,” Mr. Trump said. “The cartels are making the money, are they using children’s — it’s virtual slavery. And if we could get a change, a very simple change it would go so quickly, so easily with the Democrats, we would be able to solve that problem very easily.”

The station in Clint was built in 2012. It was meant to temporarily house adults, not children, and not for a month at a time, as has happened under the Trump administration.

Local Democratic lawmakers on Tuesday were demanding an immediate improvement to conditions for detainees along the border, with Representative Joaquin Castro, a Democrat from Texas who is chairman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, announcing that the caucus would lead an inspection of the facility at Clint next week.

Amid the outrage over the conditions at Clint, the acting commissioner of Customs and Border Protection, John Sanders, announced he would step down in early July as the government’s primary border enforcement executive, the latest in a series of personnel changes within the federal border enforcement agencies that have come down since April, when Mr. Trump asked Kirstjen Nielsen to resign from her position as homeland security secretary.

[Read more: Customs and Border Protection’s acting chief will step down.]

A C.B.P. spokesman said that the agency was able to return 100 children to Clint because the previous overcrowding had been alleviated, but he also said that no additional resources were being provided to them. He disputed the accounts of the lawyers, including some from the nation’s top law schools, who after a court-ordered visit to the facility earlier this month said they had observed children who had not been allowed to shower in nearly a month, and were so hungry that it had been hard for them to sleep through the night.

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