A 6-year-old girl was sexually abused in an immigration detention center after being separated from her mother, an immigration law group reports.
Documents Received by The Nation The girl was abused at Casa Glendale, near Phoenix, Arizona, by an elderly child being held there. She was then forced to sign a form saying she would stay away from her abuser.
Only identified as D. L., the girl crossed the border with her gang in El Paso, Texas, to escape gang violence in Guatemala. Two days later, the couple was separated under President Donald Trump's "Zero Tolerance Policy." The girl was then sent to Casa Glendale, run by the Southwest Key Program, which runs 26 immigrant homes for immigrant children across the country. [1
The documents stated that the girl had shown "sexually inappropriate behavior", which the employees investigated. On June 11, the girl's father – an undocumented immigrant living in California – received a phone call from Southwest Key telling him his daughter had been abused by one of the boys in the facility, as well as several other girls. The first abuse took place on 4 June.
According to family spokesman Mark Lane, he was told that the center's protocols would be changed to ensure that the abuse was not repeated. Although the father asked to talk to a social worker about the abuse, he was never contacted by anyone.
The next day, D.L. She was asked to sign a form inviting her to "stay away from the other young people involved". DL, who is classified as "Affectionate," affirmed that "It is my responsibility to follow the security plan"
The abuse became however, continued. D.L. & # 39; s father received another phone call on June 22, telling him that his daughter had been inappropriately touched by the same boy and that she had beaten her abuser.
D.L.'s mother was imprisoned in Texas while the abuse took place. She told The Nation that she "really felt terrible" because she could not help her daughter. "It was a nightmare, when my husband told me what had happened, I felt helpless, she was so small, she was probably so scared, probably scared to tell anyone, it was an absolute nightmare for me."  The family was later reunited by the Families Belong Together group, a coalition of civil rights organizations. It is not clear whether they intend to take legal action against the center where the abuse took place. The facility has not responded to requests for comments so far, as well as the Department of Health and Human Services.
DL's mother said her daughter is recovering, but the psychological scars of her imprisonment are clear. She said it took several days for D.L. to recognize her as her mother and "behave as if she were still in prison." She told her daughter, "She told me that she thought I would never be with her again and that she had to live with another woman … She would not touch me, hug me or kiss me."
The Trump The administration claims to have fulfilled its judicial appointment to more than unite immigrant children with their parents, The Hill reports. The officers have identified 1,634 parents who are reunited by approximately 2,551 children aged 5 years and older who are still in custody. Another 711 children remain in the care of the government because their parents are either not eligible for reunification or could not be found.