(CNN)Some unaccompanied migrant children, waiting to be reunited with family in the United States, were stuck in parked buses — at least one for more than three days — with no access to showers or places to sleep, according to an immigrant advocate.
Joel, a 15-year-old boy from Honduras, waited on buses from Saturday to Wednesday, according to Dr. Amy Cohen, a psychiatrist and executive director of Every Last One, a group that advocates for migrant children. CNN is using only his first name because of privacy concerns.
For more than three days, Joel was stuck on buses, waiting to be transported to family in Washington state, Cohen — who’s spoken with Joel and his family — told CNN. “They brought them snacks, he said. They brought him no real food,” Cohen said. “They were never permitted to go outside to stretch their legs or anything like that.”
“It was absolutely horrible. I asked him, what was the feeling in the bus? And he said, everybody was desperate,” Cohen added.
“This is completely unacceptable,” Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra said in a statement to CNN. “We’re quickly investigating this to get to the bottom of what happened and we’ll work to make sure this never happens again. The safety and well-being of the children is our priority. “
Asked about the incident, w
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