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New York State Bar Association calls to end the inhumane treatment of detained immigrant children

July 1, 2019 Rob Abruzzese

The New York State Bar Association issued a resolution over the weekend and on Monday it issued an official call for the Trump administration to end its inhumane treatment of immigrant children detained at the border, and to see them provided with basic necessities, including medical care, and reunited with their parents and families.

“We condemn, in the strongest terms possible, the shameful and merciless treatment of children in the custody of the federal government,” said NYSBA President Hank Greenberg. “The conditions under which many of them are being held gravely threaten their well-being and physical and emotional development. It is unconscionable and must cease immediately.”

As outlined in the resolution, the NYSBA is calling on the U.S. government to abide by the law, and to respect due process and access to justice.

The bar association pointed out that as of 2015, approximately 4.5 million immigrants accounted for 22.9 percent of the state’s population.

It referred to news reports of nearly 350 children being separated from their families and detained in Texas under “deplorable” and “inhumane” conditions in which they were forced to sleep on floors and go without food and medical treatment, and said that attorneys have confirmed these conditions.

“Attorneys working in this facility report that children were being held in inhumane conditions, including being forced to sleep on cold floors, going without food and necessary medical treatment for such conditions as flu and lice, denial of access to the rudiments of basic hygiene, and leaving the care and comfort of the youngest children in the hands of children only a few years older,” the NYSBA’s resolution said. “…These cruel and appalling conditions violate the rule of law, established precedent and the Flores consent decree regarding standards for the conditions and duration of their detention.”

The state bar association applauded the work of attorneys at the border in helping the children and bringing transparency to the process.

The resolution called for the end of the inhumane treatment, reunification and the release of eligible people into the care of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

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