The acting commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection said Tuesday he’s stepping down amid outrage over his agency’s treatment of detained migrant children. John Sanders said in a message to CBP employees that he would resign on July 5.
CBP is the agency that apprehends and first detains migrant parents and children crossing the U.S.-Mexico border. Lawyers who visited CBP facilities last week described squalid conditions: inadequate food, lack of medical care, and children trying to care for toddlers.
Six children have died since late last year after being detained by CBP.
Sanders pushed Congress to pass $4.5 billion in humanitarian funding. In an interview last week with The Associated Press, Sanders talked about how the deaths “impacted him profoundly.”
Additionally, an official from U.S. Customs and Border Protection said Tuesday that the “majority” of the roughly 300 children detained at a Border Patrol station located in Clint, Texas, have been placed in facilities operated by the Office of Refugee Resettlement. Lawyers had reported children detained in Clint, about 25 miles southeast of El Paso, were caring for each other and had inadequate food, water, and sanitation.