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Head of US border agency steps down amid outrage over migrant children’s treatment

Acting US Customs and Border Protection Commissioner John Sanders (left) in May.AP/Associated Press

HOUSTON — The acting commissioner of US Customs and Border Protection said he’s stepping down amid outrage over his agency’s treatment of detained migrant children.

John Sanders said in a message to CBP employees Tuesday that he would resign on July 5.

CBP is the agency that apprehends and first detains migrant parents and children crossing the US-Mexico border. Lawyers who visited CBP facilities last week described squalid conditions: inadequate food, lack of medical care, and children trying to care for toddlers.

Six children have died since late last year after being detained by CBP.

Sanders pushed Congress to pass $4.5 billion in humanitarian funding. In an interview last week with The Associated Press, Sanders talked about how the deaths ‘‘impacted him profoundly.’’