A former journalist held captive by Somali pirates is slamming the Trump administration for its treatment of migrant children held in detention centers, saying even the terrorists who kidnapped him and held him for more than two years had the decency to give him toothpaste and soap.
The Trump administration has come under sharp fire this week after a video from a federal court showed a lawyer representing the Department of Justice arguing that the administration had treated migrant children humanely even though it denied the children essentials like soap, toothpaste, and beds. Journalist Michael Scott Moore tweeted the video of a lawyer arguing to federal judges that the Trump administration did not violate an order to treat the children held in detention centers in a humane manner.
“Somali pirates gave me toothpaste & soap,” Scott wrote.
Scott was abducted by Somali pirates in 2012 while researching a book. The abductors asked for a $20 million ransom, and he ended up being held captive for 977 days before American and German officials negotiated his release from the pirates.
Several reports this week have uncovered unsanitary and brutal conditions within detention centers where children have been taken since being separated from their parents or arriving at the border without adult family members. As the Washington Examiner reported, lawyers visiting a Border Patrol facility in McAllen, Texas, noted that they encountered four toddlers who were severely ill and not receiving proper medical care and sometimes no attention at all.
The four toddlers were all suffering from diarrhea, vomiting, cough, and fever. After the immigration attorneys reported on the squalid conditions inside the center to the Huffington Post, officials hospitalized the toddlers.
Toby Gialluca, a Florida-based lawyer, said the children were abandoned by adults and appeared terrified.
“It’s just a cold, fearful look that you should never see in a child of that age,” Gialluca said. “You look at them and you think, ‘What have you seen?'”
Other reports have noted that detention center guards leave toddlers in the care of fellow migrants, some pre-teens, who were forced to look after the strangers.
Despite these inhumane conditions that sound increasingly like ghettos Jews were forced to live in by Nazis, Trump wants to round up more families in 10 cities this weekend -a move he announced to coincide with the rally launching his 2020 campaign. https://t.co/9Wa9assR4H
— Joyce Alene (@JoyceWhiteVance) June 22, 2019
There has been an international backlash against the treatment of migrants under the Trump administration, which included five migrant children dying since December due to what the Washington Examiner said was “rapid spread of illness in the centers.” The report noted that the McAllen center recently had to quarantine three dozen migrants after a teenager died of the flu.