Judges tell Trump admin to clean up its act: Migrant children need soap

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SAN FRANCISCO — A panel of judges on Thursday dismissed an appeal by the U.S. government that contended detained immigrant children might not require soap during shorter stints in custody under a longstanding settlement agreement.

A three-judge panel for the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco dismissed a challenge to a lower court decision that authorities had failed to provide safe and sanitary conditions for the children under the 1997 settlement.

The U.S. government had argued that authorities weren’t required to provide specific accommodations, such as soap, under the agreement’s requirement that facilities be “safe and sanitary” and asked the panel to weigh in. The appellate judges disagreed and dismissed the government’s case.

“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 panel wrote.

The ruling followed a June hearing where a U.S. government lawyer said the agreement was vague and didn’t necessarily require that a toothbrush and soap be provided to children during brief stays in custody.



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