PHOENIX - State Attorney General Tom Horne says conditions for undocumented kids at Arizona’s Customs and Border Protection transition center are improving.
Horne toured the facility Thursday after reports that the children hadn’t been bathed in as many as nine days.
FEMA stepped in to help by bringing in five trailers with as many as 60 shower stalls.
They are also providing toiletries and laundry facilities to help keep clothing clean.
The Red Cross has also stepped in to help with phone banks to connect kids to parents in Central America as well as relatives living in the U.S.
Horne said border patrol agents are also doing a good job providing children with emotional support by providing someone to talk to them about their experiences.
But Horne said the kids need more mental stimulation.
“I'm not sure they're getting the mental stimulation that they should have. I'd like to see them have books for example. They have some TVs up and they give them some playing cards, but most of the kids are sitting around without anything to do and I don't think that's good for them,” described Horne.
On the flip side, Horne accused the federal government of adding to the humanitarian crisis by not enforcing border restrictions.
Horne says Border Patrol agents told him they no longer have to chase undocumented immigrants, “He said we used to chase them, now they’re chasing us. Well the reason is because they've been led to believe if they give themselves up, they'll get to stay in this country.”
Horne accuses the federal government of being a coyote. A term is typically used for a human smuggler who helps sneak people over the border for money.
“Basically they’re playing the role of coyotes, taking people from the border and bringing them inland where they can meld or go into the woodwork where they can be illegal aliens,” explained Horne.
His solution is to return as many kids to their countries of origin as quickly as possible. He disagrees with placing them in the U.S. with relatives or family friends.
“If the federal government can afford to fly them to Arizona they can afford to fly them Texas or Arizona to Guatemala Honduras or El Salvador. If they were living with the mom in Honduras they should go back to living in Honduras, not the father who is living illegally in the United States,” said Horne.
In the meantime Horne says the children need to treated humanely and needs should be met.