SAN DIEGO — A federal judge in Los Angeles said Friday that she will appoint an independent monitor to evaluate conditions for immigrant children in U.S. border facilities in Texas following a spate of reports of spoiled food, insufficient water and frigid conditions faced by the youngsters and their parents.

Judge Dolly M. Gee said she reached her decision after seeing a “disconnect” between U.S. government monitors’ assessment of conditions in facilities in Texas’ Rio Grande Valley and the accounts of more than 200 immigrant children and their parents detailing numerous problems.

“It seems like there continue to be persistent problems,” she said during a hearing in a longstanding settlement agreement case focusing on the care of children in government custody. “I need to appoint an independent monitor to give me an objective viewpoint about what is going on at the facilities.”

Gee’s decision came as the Trump administration worked to reunite families separated at the U.S.-Mexico border under a second, separate court mandate out of San Diego. Hundreds remained separated as the government worked to clean up the effects of its policy that prompted global outrage and a presidential order halting separations.

Peter Schey, an attorney who represents immigrant children detained by the U.S government, said he hopes Gee’s decision will spur U.S border authorities to make improvements to other centers.

He said in court that problems have worsened with children now spending between three and six days in U.S. Customs and Border Protection facilities, where they were previously held between one and three days.

“We’ve seen an intensification with all the chaos the administration has caused,” Schey, who has long requested an independent monitor, said.

Sarah Fabian, a Justice Department attorney, opposed the appointment without having an opportunity to respond to the accounts of children and parents collected by immigrant advocates at facilities in June and July. She said that border authorities, for example, provide water fountains and jugs in cells and that facility conditions must comply with agency policies.

“We believe we haven’t had a chance for a full evidentiary hearing on this,” Fabian said.

Both sides have until Aug. 10 to agree on a proposed monitor. If they can’t, each will make suggestions to the judge and she will choose one.

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