Doctor Compares Immigration Holding Center To ‘Torture Facilities,’ Describes ‘Mental And Emotional Abuse’

Migrants are detained by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents along with the U.S. Border Patrol after crossing to the U.S. side of the U.S.-Mexico border.
Mario Tama / Getty Images

Physician Dolly Lucio Sevier was recently granted access to the Ursula facility in McAllen, Texas, the largest U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) detention center in the country. She visited based on a request from lawyers —who she had no connection to — that discovered a flu outbreak at the facility the led to the hospitalization of five infants. ABC News reports that Lucio Sevier described what she saw as comparable to “torture facilities.”

“The conditions within which they are held could be compared to torture facilities,” Lucio Sevier wrote in a medical declaration obtained by ABC News.

“It just felt, you know, lawless,” she said in an ABC News interview.

“I mean, imagine your own children there. I can’t imagine my child being there and not being broken.”

Lucio Sevier claims that she assessed 39 children under the age of 18 before describing the conditions that she saw, including “extreme cold temperatures, lights on 24 hours a day, no adequate access to medical care, basic sanitation, water, or adequate food.” She said that all of the children she saw showed evidence of trauma, adding that the teens she spoke with claimed they had no access to hand washing facilities — something she said is “tantamount to intentionally causing the spread of disease.”

Not only that, Lucio Sevier said that the conditions the infants experienced were even worse. In the medical declaration, she said many mothers in custody said they were not given the ability to wash their child’s bottle. In addition, children older than six months were not given meal options necessary for their age, including pureed foods that are crucial for their development.

“To deny parents the ability to wash their infant’s bottles is unconscionable and could be considered intentional mental and emotional abuse.”

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Lucio Sevier’s report comes not long after a Homeland Security inspector general report revealed “dangerous overcrowding” and unsanitary conditions at a CBP facility in El Paso, Texas. The report also comes on the heels of President Donald Trump unveiling his planned nationwide Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raids, which he then delayed.

As The Inquisitr previously reported, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is reported to be the one that pushed Trump to delay the plans. After agreeing to the delay, Trump reportedly said that his move was an attempt to give concession to Democrats to pave the way for a more comprehensive immigration reform agreement.

The planned raids, which Trump announced on Twitter, reportedly “blindsided” ICE. The announcement came just after Trump officially launched his 2020 re-election campaign in Orlando, Florida, causing many to suspect that it was politically motivated and perhaps not planned well in coordination with ICE.