The U.S. government says that shelters for migrant children are “safe and sanitary” even if they don’t provide soap, toothbrushes, showers, dry towels and clothes.

It is an immoral and indefensible position and an embarrassment to our nation.

The argument was made in an appeal to a July 2018 ruling from a Los Angeles-based U.S. district judge, who required U.S. immigration officers to provide basic needs to children held in detention.

A year prior, U.S. District Judge Dolly Gee found that federal immigration officials violated a court decree — the so-called Flores Agreement — by failing to provide adequate food and water to minors. She also found immigration facilities didn’t maintain appropriate facility temperatures and had children trying to sleep on concrete floors under bright lights.

The embarrassing litigation began in the Obama administration, but the Trump administration continues to challenge the requirements.

Last summer, immigrant children described younger children in caged areas, filthy toilets and little running water. If an Oklahoma parent treated their child this way, the child would be taken by the state and the parent put in prison.

Shame on everyone involved. Shame on us for allowing it.

Government officials are moving children from the El Paso center, an admission of poor conditions.

Such traumatizing and dangerous conditions must end and never happen again.

These children did not enter the U.S. by their own choice.

If the U.S. is going to continue detaining children and youth, it must do it humanely, with dignity, respect and care.

Congress has ignored the need for immigration reform that could have lessened or eliminated the border humanitarian crisis. Its members must not ignore these reports and court actions.

The U.S. must provide children conditions that are truly safe and sanitary. Our nation’s moral authority is at stake.

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Tulsa City Councilors offered a forum recently on the Equality Indicators report, which uses 54 equality measures that compare outcomes of groups likely to experience inequalities.

Read the story: 'We have to realize we're one city': Discussion on Equality Indicators offers chance at dialogue

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