More than 100 migrant children have been returned to a Texas border station just a day after being transferred, US border officials say.

About 250 migrant children were moved from the overcrowded centre after lawyers granted access by a judge said the children were “severely neglected”.

The top US border official meanwhile has said he is stepping down.

It comes as the number of migrants apprehended at the border surged in May to the highest level since 2006.

The New York Times reports the 100 children were transported back to the facility after it made changes to alleviate its overcrowding. They had been held there for weeks.

A lawyer who visited the facility in Clint, just outside El Paso, told the BBC that children were “locked up in horrific cells where there’s an open toilet in the middle of the room” where they ate and slept.

“There was nobody taking care of these children… they were not being bathed on a regular basis,” Prof Warren Binford of Williamette University in Oregon said.

“Several hundred of the children had been kept in a warehouse that was recently erected on the facility grounds.”
“The cells are overcrowded… there’s a lice infestation there, there is an influenza outbreak. Children are being locked up in isolation with no adult supervision, who are very, very ill and they’re just lying on the ground on mats.”

Elora Mukherjee, another lawyer who visited the facility, told CBS News: “They were wearing the same dirty clothing they crossed the border with.

“It is degrading and inhumane and shouldn’t be happening in America.”

What have the authorities said?

In a statement, the border authority acknowledged that the Clint facility was not suited to the task.

“US Customs and Border Protection leverages our limited resources to provide the best care possible to those in our custody, especially children,” it said.

“The cells are overcrowded… there’s a lice infestation there, there is an influenza outbreak. Children are being locked up in isolation with no adult supervision, who are very, very ill and they’re just lying on the ground on mats.”

Elora Mukherjee, another lawyer who visited the facility, told CBS News: “They were wearing the same dirty clothing they crossed the border with.

“It is degrading and inhumane and shouldn’t be happening in America.”

What have the authorities said?
In a statement, the border authority acknowledged that the Clint facility was not suited to the task.

“US Customs and Border Protection leverages our limited resources to provide the best care possible to those in our custody, especially children,” it said.

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