by Cindy Knoebel
Seven-year-old G came to the US from El Salvador to avoid threats of violence, and was sent to the Clint, TX Customs and Border Patrol facility She was first housed in an unheated tent, then was separated from her aunt and was kept with other girls in a room in the Clint facility.
According to G's translated declaration, they were given a lice comb and hairbrush to groom each other. But when the guard came back to retrieve them, the children couldn’t find them. “The guard was angry and asked in a rough voice who had the brushes. The other kids were scared, and so was I. I felt dizzy and started to cry,” G recounts.
The guard told the girls they had 10 minutes to find the combs, and if they didn’t their beds and covers would be taken away. “He came back and yelled at us … we had to tell them we couldn’t find them,” the 7-year-old reported. “Guards then came in and started taking everything away, pillows and blankets. We had a blanket we held up in front of the bathroom because there was no door. The officers took even that one. He said we were going to sleep on the floor – that it was punishment for losing the combs. What he said was true. We all slept on the hard tile floor last night. Nobody tried to climb into a bed, because the guard said they would take away anyone who tried to get into bed. They told us we could not have blankets anymore."
This is one in a series of taped declarations from interviews made by lawyers and investigators in support of the Flores Settlement Agreement, which outlines standards for how long unaccompanied minors (or those separate from parents) can be held in custody, and the standards for their care while in custody.
This declaration was provided to IMM Print by Amanda, who creates daily paintings incorporating quotes from declarations by children in immigrant detention or other involved parties, and Sherri, who records the legal declarations to give children and involved families a voice. Please see nomorekidsincages.wordpress.com.