“When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.”
Maya Angelou’s words could not be more apt than right now. The Trump administration sent lawyers to court to state, on the record, in a case regarding the detention of innocent migrant children who have been housed in dog cages with concrete floors, metal blankets, with little access to medical care, clean diapers, sanitary conditions and food, that these same children do not deserve soap or toothbrushes.
The three judges hearing the case in the Ninth Circuit were shocked, to say the least.
U.S. Circuit Judge Marsha Berzon asked the Justice Department’s Sarah Fabian: “You’re really going to stand up and tell us that being able to sleep isn’t a question of safe and sanitary conditions?'”
U.S. Circuit Judge William Fletcher further asked: “Are you arguing seriously that you do not read the agreement as requiring you to do anything other than what I just described: cold all night long, lights on all night long, sleeping on concrete and you’ve got an aluminum foil blanket? I find that inconceivable that the government would say that that is safe and sanitary.”
The settlement is related to the Flores case, which considered guidelines for the detention of minors who are in federal immigration custody. The settlement itself states the minors have a right to a bond hearing and the “timely release” to parents or guardians. Until that release occurs, minors are to be placed in facilities that are “safe and sanitary.”
The despicable DOJ Attorney, Fabian, said that giving soap and toothbrushes was not required because they were not included in Flores, stating: “One has to assume it was left that way and not enumerated by the parties because either the parties couldn’t reach agreement on how to enumerate that or it was left to the agencies to determine.”
Judge Fletcher was not having it, dragging her by saying: “Or it was relatively obvious…And at least obvious enough so that if you’re putting people into a crowded room to sleep on a concrete floor with an aluminum-foil blanket on top of them that it doesn’t comply with the agreement.” He added “It wasn’t perfumed soap, it was soap. That’s part of ‘safe and sanitary.’ Are you disagreeing with that?”
Attorney for the class action which filed the suit added that although the original order did not list toothbrushes, it can be reasonably interpreted that those things would fall under “safe and sanitary.”
The despicable DOJ attorney stated that she will file a motion for reconsideration because they REALLY do not want to have to give soap and toothbrushes to innocent children, to which Judge Berzon asked: “Have you considered whether you might go back and consider whether you really want to continue this appeal?”
UPDATE: This is the same lawyer who couldn't be bothered to meet with detainees because she had to dogsit. Dogs over people. Charming.