Children left crowded, dirty inside US border detention camps - reports

A dusty ground and a fence.
A fence at the border with Mexico. Photo credit: Getty

Children have reportedly been kept in crowded and dirty conditions inside a detention centre near the United States' border with Mexico.

Doctors and lawyers say they found horrific conditions when they were allowed inside a detention centre in Clint, Texas.

"There is a stench, The overwhelming majority of children have not bathed since they crossed the border," Elora Mukherjee from Columbia Law school told the New York Times.

Mukherjee said children were not allowed access to soap, toothbrushes or toothpaste. A report from the Department of Homeland Security in May warned of "dangerous overcrowding" at the facility.

Children held at the facility were moved to a different location while Mukherjee was visiting. Border officials, said 200 had been removed due to overcrowding. They did not say where the children were taken.

Government authorities argued in court they do not need to provide amenities like soap or toothbrushes due to a settlement reached between the US Government and migrant families in 1997.

The settlement said facilities for children need to be "safe and sanitary", but lawyers say that did not specify a need to provide hygienic items.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott is calling for more security on the border and announced the deployment of 1000 new National Guard troops there on Friday.

"Congress is a group of reprobates for not addressing the crisis on our border," he said.