Trump officials say children they lock up don't need soap and toothbrushes


In a federal court, Trump's legal team argued that jailed kids can be denied basic sanitary items like soap and toothbrushes.

Kids locked up by the Trump administration don't necessarily need soap, toothbrushes, or even an appropriate place to sleep in order for their stay to be "safe and sanitary," Trump administration attorneys argued on Tuesday.

"It's within everybody's common understanding that if you don't have a toothbrush, you don't have soap, you don't have a blanket, those are not safe and sanitary," Judge A. Wallace Tashima told a Justice Department lawyer during the hearing, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

Trump's lawyer disagreed, claiming kids detained by the federal government may not need those things depending on the length of their stay.

The official Trump position was met with shock and outrage by judges hearing the case.

"You're really going to stand up and tell us that not being able to sleep isn't a question of safe and sanitary conditions?" asked Judge Marsha Berzon.

The third judge on the panel, William Fletcher, took issue with young children being forced to sleep on concrete floors, with the lights on all night and nothing more than aluminum foil blankets to keep warm.

"No one would argue that this is safe and sanitary," he said.

The hearing took place because the Trump administration is appealing a recent ruling that they violated a court order, known as the Flores Agreement, when kids locked up the by the Trump administration complained of sleeping in cold, overcrowded cells while being denied proper food and given dirty water.

The Flores Agreement sates federal facilities detaining children must provide "physical care, food, clothing, grooming items, routine medical and dental care, immunizations, medication, an individualized needs assessment for each child," according to a fact sheet from the National Conference of State Legislatures.

However, the Trump administration argued in court documents that nothing in the agreement forces the federal government "to provide minors, in all situations, with sleeping accommodations, toothbrushes, toothpaste, showers, soap, towels and dry clothes."

The court heard arguments from both sides and will hand down a decision at a later date.

The Trump administration has a long track record of cruelty toward immigrant children. Trump spearheaded a family separation policy that resulted in thousands of children being ripped away from their families. In the past few months, half a dozen children have died in U.S. custody.

And conditions at detention facilities across the country are atrocious, including forcing people to wear dirty, soiled clothes and sleep on rocks. Trump is even trying to deny children access to education and playtime.

In February, Rep. Judy Chu (D-CA) told Shareblue Media that "the entire approach of this administration towards immigrant children has been characterized by cruelty."

And that was before the administration argued that jailed kids don't need soap, toothbrushes, and a decent place to sleep.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.