A child watches a U.S. Border Patrol agent search a fellow Central American immigrant after they crossed into El Paso.
Photo: John Moore/AP

On a ranking of how awful the U.S. treats the people it detains and imprisons, you’d hope that we fall somewhere between the standards of other countries and not below terrorist organizations. Alas, you’d be unfortunately mistaken.

Last week, a Department of Justice lawyer argued before a panel of judges that the government isn’t technically required to provide toiletries such as soap and toothbrushes and sanitary, comfortable sleeping conditions to the migrant children it has detained.

Under the Flores settlement’s mandate for “safe and sanitary” conditions for children in detention, all of the above is absolutely required, but as it turns out, not even immigrant children are provided the hospitality exemplified by *checks notes* Somali pirates and the Taliban.

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Moore, a journalist kidnapped by Somali pirates in 2012 and held for ransom for nearly three years, has written a memoir about his captivity. David Rohde was kidnapped with his colleagues by the Taliban in 2008 and held for months. According to both of them, they were provided basic needs by their captors. On the border, meanwhile, we’ve children taking care of other children in disgusting conditions, being fed undercooked food, and unable to shower for weeks.

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Holy shit is everything wrong with this picture.