Thousands of Immigrant Children Report They Were Sexually Abused in US Custody, According to Federal Records

Thousands of children who arrived at the US Mexico border without parents reported being sexually abused in government custody, according to federal records released Tuesday.

Before a congressional hearing on the US government’s child separation policy, data coming from the Department of Health and Human Services was made public by Rep. Ted Deutch.

The reporting began under the Obama administration. The federal Office of Refugee Resettlement, received more than 4,500 reports of sexual abuse and sexual harassment from 2015 to 2018. Of those reports, 1,300 were referred to the FBI.

Most of the allegations were one minor abusing another, but 178 of the complaints were against staff.

In a House Judiciary Committee hearing, Deutch said the government’s 135 migrant shelters are “an unsafe environment.” He said, “these documents detail an environment of systemic sexual assault by staff on unaccompanied children.”

Between October 2014 through July 2018, the Office of Refugee Resettlement received 4,556 complaints, and the Department of Justice received 1,303 complaints.



Photo: “Profiting from Criminalized Immigration 1806241352” by Patrick Feller is licensed under CC BY 2.0