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The GW Hatchet


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Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

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Diversity, equity official to leave GW in July
By Jenna Lee, Assistant News Editor • June 8, 2024

Law school alumna blasted for defending treatment of migrant detainees

An alumna has taken criticism after a video of her discussing the conditions of detained migrant children went viral.

Sarah Fabian, a lawyer for the U.S. Justice Department who graduated from the law school in 2012, told the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit that the federal government does not name specific requirements, like providing toothbrushes or towels, for giving detained migrants a sanitary environment, The New York Times reported Wednesday. People are calling for her resignation after after a video of her testimony went viral.

“It may be for a shorter-term stay in [Customs and Border Protection] custody that some of those things may not be required,” Fabian told the court.

The federal government requires that facilities are “safe and sanitary” for migrant children held in detention centers.

Fabian attended GW’s law school after graduating from Amherst College in 1998, according to her LinkedIn profile. After leaving the law firm Kirkland & Ellis, she worked for the Justice Department under the Obama administration and has been a lawyer for the government for at least ten years.

In a private Facebook message sent to The New York Times, Fabian said she was “sorry” for her words and wishes she could clarify the government’s position on the issue.

“Since I can’t, lots of people may well hate me for a long time,” Fabian said. “I get it, and I accept it, and I’m not going to fight back against that other than to try to look out for my own safety and to hope that people take it easy on my family.”

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