As the migrant children crisis continues, a new investigation is shedding light on the horrific conditions that children in the encampments are subjected to, including teenage girls on their period being forced to bleed through their underwear because they are not provided with adequate sanitary products.
An state-run investigation conducted by Investigations Manager at Washington State Office of the Attorney General, Alma Poletti, resulted in a 26-page report that details interviews conducted by Washington State employees with 28 children ages 12 to 17, most of whom were detained at Border Patrol at some point during the last year, according to the Seattle Times. The report was obtained by The Independent.
The investigation and its report comes amid a California-led lawsuit filed earlier this week that seeks to challenge the Department of Homeland Security’s proposed new rules that would allow children to be detained for longer periods of time, the Huffington Post reported last week.
As of now, 19 states have backed the lawsuit, including Washington State, according to the Huffington Post.
What the Washington investigator describes is disturbing: teenage girls being forced to wear soiled underwear and pants after bleeding through them while on their period is just one example.
A girl told a Washington State interviewer that she only showered once during her 10-day detention and never had the opportunity to brush her teeth. Another girl, also detained for 10 days, and on her period, claimed she was never offered a shower and had to ask for one — to top it off, she was only given one sanitary pad per day.
“After a number of days, she summoned her courage and asked for a shower, and was given one,” Poletti’s report claims. “She recalls there was another girl at the facility who was also on her period. They were each given one sanitary pad per day. Although the guards knew they had their periods, they were not offered showers or a change of clothes, even when the other girl visibly bled through her pants.”
“This girl had no choice but to continue to wear her soiled underwear and pants,” the report alleges.
Other shocking conditions include food being tossed on the floor for children to grab at like animals, lack of privacy when using the toilet and toilet paper only being replenished once per day.
The investigation goes on to describe 7- and 8-year-olds being placed in “small metal cages” if they “misbehaved or were restless,” allegedly kept there for two days and fed only an apple and water for both breakfast and lunch while the other kids were fed burritos.
“The girl felt this punishment was not fair because ‘it was a scary situation and young kids by nature are restless and have lots of questions,'” the report claims.
Ferguson called Trump’s immigration policies “reminiscent of shameful chapters in American history — the internment of Japanese Americans, and the forced separation of Native American families,” according to The Independent.
The White House and the Department of Homeland Security did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.