The contractor, who runs a camp for migrant children, is a fire and water damage repair company, according to a report
Laurie Elkin and Justin Mulaire, both attorneys who volunteered on site from mid-May to early June, said in the report that conditions were overcrowded: "Combined with the enormous size of the tents, children at risk are even more at risk. ”Sandstorms in the area naturally created filthy conditions, but the whistleblowers said children were not regularly provided with clean sheets or clothes. “Although many children were housed in these tents for up to two months (or more), their sheets never appeared to have been washed; many beds were visibly dirty. "
As noted in court testimonials from 17 children last month, children would be able to speak to an adult for a long time without. "Ms. Elkin and Mr. Mulaire sometimes experienced no communication between case managers and children in their care for weeks, ”said GAP. "Many cases of children have slipped through the cracks and caused unnecessary additional trauma." But the groups said that "(p)Perhaps the biggest problem that Ms. Elkin and Mr. Mulaire saw was the use of totally unsuitable contract agents. "
The report said the two "learned that the contractor who directly oversees the children in the dorm tents is Servpro, a fire and water damage repair company." It appears that most of the staff also did not speak Spanish or any of the children's indigenous languages. “Many of the Servpro employees' t-shirts bore the Servpro company logo found on the Internet, some with the company logo: 'As if it never happened,'” the report continues. Good for fire and water damage restoration, absolutely terrifying with children.
"Problematic guidelines for contractors have exacerbated this situation," the report said. “The contractors told Ms. Elkin and Mr. Mulaire that they were not allowed to interact with the children unless a child specifically approached them. Many children in need with depression, anxiety, or more are less likely to initiate such an interaction and seek help from an adult. ”The report said that even when children came forward,“ Ms. Elkin and Mr. Mulaire report that contractors were often of little help. ”Probably because the company was completely unsuitable for specialized care.
Following the report, proponents of the #WelcomeWithDignity campaign said the abuses continued to confirm that children do not belong in detention. “This terrible situation in Ft. Bliss should never have happened, ”said Denise Bell, refugee and migrant rights researcher at Amnesty International USA. "The administration has every means to ensure that this does not happen again by closing these emergency facilities as soon as possible and implementing long-overdue reforms immediately so that such emergency facilities are never needed."
Elkin and Mulaire said that “(A) After witnessing the dire conditions at Fort Bliss, we consider it our duty to raise our voices. Regardless of views on immigration policy, the reality is that these unaccompanied children are here now and in US custody. HHS must act now to ensure that the children are treated in a safe and humane manner. " While the government has announced it will close six temporary camps by August, Fort Bliss is not one of them. After an urgent visit from HHS Sec. Xavier Becerra last month officials said 790 boys were still being held in the camp, up from 4,800 children in May.
"A Servpro Industries spokeswoman said the contract was signed by a franchisee without the company's knowledge," NBC News reported. That "explanation" only makes things worse. "This was preventable and the US must act urgently to protect the best interests of the children," Bell continued in the statement. "It starts with the children being safe with their families and having approved sponsors (moving) faster, and realigning the care model as a whole so that children live with families and carers and not in state care at all."