What a Lawyer Saw at Border Detention Centers

No running water. Violently ill children. A premature baby wrapped in a filthy towel. Here are five alarming conditions witnessed by an immigration lawyer at a detention center on the southern border.

Attorney Describes Horrifying Conditions Inside Detention Center

5 alarming conditions that pushed Attorney Toby Gialluca to speak out after she visited the Border Patrol processing center in McAllen, Texas. to monitor detention conditions under the Flores settlement.

Lawyers visiting a Border Patrol facility in McAllen, Texas, said officers hospitalized four severely ill toddlers last week. The four children, all under the age of 3, had diarrhea and were vomiting, feverish, and coughing. The immigration attorneys visiting the facility reported to the Huffington Post on Friday that some were refusing to eat or drink, and a two-year-old was unresponsive and her eyes had rolled into the back of her head.

Toby Gialluca, a Florida-based attorney, “described seeing terror in the children’s eyes.” Of the people she interviewed, Toby says the shortest stay was 3 days and the longest 17 days. Border detention centers open under the Trump administration have been heavily scrutinized for what many call inhumane treatment and neglect. The immigration lawyers, Gialluca included, feared that the children could have died had they not visited the center.

The administration says centers are overwhelmed, understaffed, and lack crucial resources to care for migrants. Five migrant children have died since December due to rapid spread of illnesses in the centers. The McAllen center recently quarantined three dozen migrants after a teen at the same facility died of the flu.

The lawyers initially visited the center with the intention of interviewing children about conditions in the facility, then ended up asking government officers to hospitalize the many children they met. Gialluca said she and her colleagues met with only a small fraction of migrants at the facility, the largest in the U.S. She said the number of migrants in need of hospitalization is likely much higher than those she met.

This was just a random selection found in unsanitary conditions. Immigrants are detained at length and it’s not a budget issue.


06/26/2019 1:49 AMupdated: 06/27/2019 1:11 PM


  • Mari C.
    05/24/2020 12:48

    Locked up like dogs in meat market

  • David T.
    07/04/2019 10:30

    So. Maybe AOC shouldn't of refused to fund these facilities when Trump wanted funding for them.. just a thought ..

  • Vesta C.
    07/01/2019 02:17

    During Obama administration. Trump 20\20! God bless America and our President.

  • Randi F.
    06/30/2019 17:29

    Shouldn't be one sick child detained get them help. What we gonna do????

  • Yahaira G.
    06/30/2019 13:47

    Shameful. Of all the places in the world for something like this to happened, why in America? Are there any Canadians with expired visas living in these facilities? NO. Just because Trump and this government are not Nazi these places can’t be call Concentration Camps, because they are. All the Hipocracy from the GOP...

  • Michael G.
    06/30/2019 13:06

    Shut up and tell them to stop coming to the country illegally

  • Karen W.
    06/30/2019 12:10

    This is look at American children first they live on the streets and should be taken care of along with our veterans.

  • Faisao N.
    06/30/2019 10:41

    Sad how people can be this cruel

  • Keith J.
    06/30/2019 05:44

    I noticed she said that it could become a health crisis around the US if this continues. Watch the government claim it isn't their fault if it does happen. This country is a joke and I highly advise anyone to visit this place. Make America great again? This isn't making America great. This is making us tyrants.

  • John D.
    06/30/2019 03:00

    Let's open the borders and offer free healthcare to undocumented immigrants. That'll show trump.

  • David W.
    06/30/2019 02:03

    They came here with problems. Now they are exposing us to them. We haven't had a meal outbreak since the 60s. They storm our borders and now we have measles and other diseases.

  • Peni B.
    06/30/2019 01:42

    Let us just have the US open its borders, give visa examption to all countries, and welfare services to all new arrivals, and everyone will be happy. Better yet, just scrap all immigration laws and open the gates. Oh, only one law, all new arrivals to stay in houses belonging to supporters of open border, without any screening, as per their request.

  • Betty A.
    06/29/2019 21:40

    Why didn’t you stay there and help her. You don’t want to get your hands dirty. Just run you mouth

  • Lorianne C.
    06/29/2019 15:00

    Where is your humanity? Where is your heart? Find them, and then go and help these children please. In the name of Jesus I pray. Lord help those who can't help themselves and thank you for being with them in their time of need. Thank you for being there to comfort and protect them against the enemy. Please help the leaders see the wrong that they do.

  • Mandy S.
    06/29/2019 12:25

    Soo what....maybe they should have stayed in thier OWN COUNTRY & got medical care But no these dam illegals wanna trek across country on foot & risk thier lives & the lives of thier children for thier own tax dollars should not be used to take care of these criminals. Quit making it a pity party & send them home instead of housing them that way they can get whatever care they need in THIER OWN COUNTRY. Maybe...just maybe if we send them right back across the border within 48hrs instead of housing/detaining them we may see less criminals trying to cross ILLEGALLY INTO OUR COUNTRY.

  • Gerald F.
    06/29/2019 03:38

    The human race is question....there saying please help us ....undocumented humans considered invaders by virture of their existence migraders seeking a better life or in many cases life it self...what are we We to do as human's....god have mercy on all us.....i will put this in God's hands.....

  • Norma S.
    06/29/2019 02:22

    Who brought them here?

  • Daniel C.
    06/28/2019 22:36

    They are free to head south again nothing is stopping them...

  • Delvin H.
    06/28/2019 20:42

    Da how far did they walk though they are all sick

  • Shawn C.
    06/28/2019 18:20

    Shame on you people who are so blind you can’t see the truth. Your the reason for any bad conditions. You people caused this. Now your exploiting it. And trying blame everything and everyone for it. If you would stop encouraging people to enter illegally and do it legally instead . None of this would be happening. Ignorant fools.