Immigrant children held in custody by the US border authorities are said to be swamped by verbal abuse and threats of physical violence, according to documents reviewed by the American Civil Liberties Union
An ACLU report this week is more than 30,000 Pages of documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act. The documents say: "Unveiling the culture of impunity" within the US Customs and Border Guard and the Department of Homeland Security.
In response, Customs and Border Guard issued a strongly worded statement calling the ACLU report "unfounded" and unfounded.
According to Mitra Ebadolahi, human resources lawyer for the ACLU Border Litigation project, the documents report hundreds of suspected cases of abuse between 2009 and 201
"These documents give insight into this through brutality and lawlessness Ebadolahi said in a statement.
The allegations include reports of physical, verbal, sexual and psychological abuse of migrant children and denial of clean drinking water and adequate food.
The allegations state that that US officials have:
- Denied a pregnant little medical attention as she reported pain that preceded a stillbirth.
- Subje a 16-year-old girl on a search in which she "stretched her legs vigorously and her private ones Parts touched so hard that she screamed. "
- let in 4-lb. premature baby and her underage mother in a crowded and dirty cell full of sick people, against medical advice.
- A child's birth certificate was ejected and threatened with sexual abuse by an adult male prisoner.
- One year old with a patrol car and then hit him repeatedly.
Customs and Border Guard said the ACLU report "equates allegations with fact" and ignores the recent reforms.
An investigation by the DHS Office Inspector General (OIG) "found these allegations unfounded" and OIG officials who made a series of unannounced visits to CBP facilities "did not observe any misconduct or inappropriate behavior of DHS employees ".
Ebadolahi stated, however, investigations into the allegations were "structurally inadequate."
"These agencies have not taken meaningful action to bring federal officials to justice for the abuse of children or to ensure that such ill-treatment never returns," she says.
The ACLU report, co-authored by the International Human Rights Clinic at the University of Chicago Law School, says the US government failed to create "adequate guarantees and humane prison conditions for children in CBP custody."
These failures, it is said, have led to a culture of impunity within CBP that seduces children of immigrants into conditions that are at best too negligent and sadist at worst. "