Report: Immigrant Children Abused by Border Guards

Tuesday, 10 Jun 2014 11:26 AM

By Lisa Degnen

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Some underage children crossing the Mexican border have claimed that officials physically abused them, BuzzFeed.com reported, citing records it obtained showing the complaints of unaccompanied immigrant children.

A girl from El Salvador said as she was taken into custody in 2011 that a U.S. government vehicle ran her over as she tried to run away from guards, BuzzFeed reported. She was later diagnosed with a "crush injury" in her right leg. She also said that the officials in charge "did not believe that the injury had been caused by being run over."

Editor's Note: On the Border With Mexico – The Arroyo Reveals the Truth

BuzzFeed says the records show a boy from Guatemala claiming that "a Border Patrol agent kicked him in the stomach while he was inside a detention cell in July 2011." An underage girl from Guatemala claimed that "the immigration officer then slapped her across her right cheek with an open hand one time, grabbed her hair, and threw her onto her bed before leaving her room."

The report says the allegations were made in what were called "Significant Incident Reports" made by staff at shelters from 2011 to 2013 and include the complaints of about 25 children, whose names were blacked out in documents.

Other minors reported being cursed at or denied medical treatment.

BuzzFeed says Customs and Border Protection has been criticized for not properly investigating the charges and did not return calls for comment, according to the website.

President Barack Obama recently said that a huge number of unaccompanied children have started to cross the border with Mexico, and he called it an "urgent humanitarian situation."

Federal agencies have been told they need to start providing more housing and services, The Washington Post said.

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