The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the University of Chicago Law School International Human Rights Clinic released a new report in which it is alleged that Border Protection agents neglected and abused more than 100 migrant children who were in their custody.
The report is based on thousands of pages of records detailing accusations from 116 unaccompanied minors, many of whom were asylum-seekers, while in temporary detention centers. The ACLU obtained more than 30,000 pages of records for its report.
A summary of the report reads, “Migrant children long have reported varied mistreatment in CBP custody, including sexual, physical, and verbal abuse, and the deprivation of basic needs such as food, water, and emergency medical care.” The report covers allegations of abuse by Border Protection agents against children from 2009-2014. The report goes on to read:
“These records document a pattern of intimidation, harassment,physical abuse, refusal of medical services, and improper deportation. These failures have allowed a culture of impunity to flourish within CBP, subjecting immigrant children to conditions that are too oftenn eglectful at best and sadistic at worst.”
DHS conducted an internal investigation in 2014, in response to ACLU allegations of abuse against unaccompanied minors, saying that they were “unable to substantiate” the findings of the ACLU.
Dan Hetlage, a spokesperson for CBP, called the ACLU and Chicago Law School International Human Rights Clinic report “unfounded.” Hetlage continued, “The false accusations made by the ACLU against the previous administration are unfounded and baseless,” Hetlage said in a statement. “The ‘report’ equates allegations with fact, flatly ignores a number of improvements made by CBP as well as oversight conducted by outside, independent agencies.”