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PODCAST: what is happening to migrant children at the US border


A podcast from The Guardian. Published in the ‘Today In Focus’ series, 11 July 2019. To download or listen, click here.

Elora Mukherjee is a prominent US immigration lawyer. Several weeks ago she visited the Clint border facility in Texas, which was holding hundreds of children who had tried to cross the border. What she saw was so shocking she has decided to speak out. And: Jennifer Silvers on how our experiences when we are young can affect the rest of our lives.

Elora Mukherjee, the director of Columbia Law School’s immigrant rights clinic, was one of six attorneys to recently visit the immigration detention centre in Clint where hundreds of migrant children have been held, some for weeks. The conditions the team found were shocking. Children had no adequate access to medical care, no basic sanitation, were exposed to extreme cold and did not have adequate access to drinking water or food.

“I’ve been visiting children detained in federal immigration custody for 12 years,” Mukherjee tells Today in Focus. “I have never seen anything like this before. I have never seen, smelled, had to bear witness to such degrading and inhumane conditions.”

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Amanda Holpuch, a Guardian US reporter who interviewed Mukherjee, talks to India Rakusen about the Trump administration’s approach to immigration and whether anything will change.

And: Jennifer Silvers, a professor in developmental psychology, discusses the long-term impact on the children being held at Clint.