Detained migrant kids describe sexual assault, verbal abuse, retaliation by border agents
A migrant girl says that a border agent sexually assaulted her, “putting his hands inside her bra, pulling down her underwear and groping her as part of what was meant to be a routine pat down in front of other immigrants and officers,” NBC News reports. The 15-year-old described being humiliated as the agent laughed “with other officers during the entire process.”
Many of the accusations would have likely triggered welfare checks had a child reported them about their parent, but NBC News reports that only the sexual assault is under investigation by the Department of Homeland Security inspector general. Border officials didn’t appear to deny the reports either, claiming in a statement that “the allegations do not align with common practice at our facilities and will be fully investigated.”
But despite their claims, abuse is common practice among border officials. After all, the federal government hasn’t paid out over $60 million in settlements over a decadebecause it’s felt generous, it’s paid it out to settle allegations of wrongful detention, assault, and death at the hands of border agents. The treatment of migrant children by immigration officials, in particular, has repeatedly earned the United States the rebuke of the United Nations.