U.S. News

‘Heartbreaking’ conditions in US migrant child camp

At a US border detention centre in the Texan desert, migrant children have been living in alarming conditions – where disease is rampant, food can be dangerous and there are reports of sexual abuse, an investigation by the BBC has found through interviews with staff and children.

In recent months, the US has seen a massive rise in migrants and asylum seekers from Central America. Violence, natural disasters and pandemic-related economic strife are some of the reasons behind the influx, experts say.

Some have also suggested the perception of a more lenient administration under Democrat Joe Biden has contributed to the crisis, though the White House has urged migrants against journeying to the US border.

The tented camp in the Fort Bliss military base in El Paso, Texas, is the temporary home for over 2,000 teenaged children who have crossed the US-Mexico border alone and are now awaiting reunification with family in the US.

Findings from the BBC’s investigation include allegations of sexual abuse, Covid and lice outbreaks, a child waiting hours for medical attention, a lack of clean clothes and hungry children being served undercooked meat.

The BBC has spoken to camp employees about these conditions and seen photos and video smuggled out by staff.

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