Tags: Homeland Security | Immigration | children | immigrants | abuse | Homeland Security

Homeland Security: No Proof That Child Migrants Were Abused

Image: Homeland Security: No Proof That Child Migrants Were Abused
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By    |   Wednesday, 03 Sep 2014 11:50 AM

Investigators with the Department of Homeland Security have found no evidence to back claims that unaccompanied migrant children were abused once they were in federal custody, says a report released Tuesday by the agency's inspector general.

In June, groups including the American Civil Liberties Union and the National Immigrant Justice Center complained that the migrants were subjected to "systemic abuse,"  The New York Times reported.

However, after inspectors paid 57 unannounced visits to 41 Customs and Border Protection facilities, they said they were unable to substantiate any abuse allegations. Further, the report said, conditions have improved a great deal since mid-July in the border stations.

The complaint that was filed on behalf of 116 minors claimed that while they were being held in Border Patrol stations, most in the Rio Grande Valley in Texas, they had been subjected to verbal abuse, held in "unsanitary, overcrowded, and freezing cold cells," and were denied medical care. Further, four of the young migrants said they were physically abused.

During the initial surge of minors, holding cells were often crowded to twice their normal capacity, but inspectors said that the facility met standards for detention and included operable sinks and toilets, along with access to medical care and telephones.

Officials also ordered the cells to be cleaned several times a day and issued blankets after many of the young people complained they were cold.

The report also noted that the minors got at least one meal daily, but border agents did complain they did not have enough people on duty to handle all the migrants.

Homeland Security is still investigating more than 100 additional complaints, and immigration advocates said so far, they are disappointed by the agency's findings.

"We are at a loss as to how the agency came to those conclusions," Claudia Valenzuela, director of litigation at the National Immigrant Justice Center, told The Times. "We continue to receive reports from children about these abuses."

Meanwhile, ACLU attorney James Lyall said the report shows Homeland Security has "not grappled with widespread problems that have been documented for years."


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Investigators with the Department of Homeland Security have found no evidence to back claims that unaccompanied migrant children were abused once they were in federal custody, says a report released Tuesday by the agency's inspector general.
children, immigrants, abuse, Homeland Security
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2014-50-03
Wednesday, 03 Sep 2014 11:50 AM
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