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Thousands Of Migrant Children Reported Sexual Abuse While In U.S Custody

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Thousands Of Migrant Children Reported Sexual Abuse While In U.S Custody

Thousands Of Migrant Children Reported Sexual Abuse While In U.S Custody

It’s already heartbreaking to see and hear the stories about immigrant children be taken away for their parents and being held at different facilities at the U.S Southern border. But, what’s also really upsetting is learning that a large number of them have been sexually abused while living in the government-administered shelters.

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According to federal records released Tuesday, in each of the past four years, 1,000 or more immigrant children who arrived at the southern U.S. border without their parents have reported being sexually abused while in government custody, NPR reports.

Florida Democratic Rep. Ted Deutch addressed the documents during a House hearing Tuesday on the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” policy that resulted in thousands of immigrant children being separated from their parents. He said that the documents,

“demonstrate over the past three years, there have been 154 staff on unaccompanied minor, let me repeat that, staff on unaccompanied minor allegations of sexual assault.”

He added,

“I am deeply concerned with documents that have been turned over by HHS that record a high number of sexual assaults on unaccompanied children in the custody of the Office of Refugee and Resettlement,” said Deutch during the hearing. “Together, these documents detail an environment of systemic sexual assaults by staff on unaccompanied children.”

HHS spokesperson Caitlin Oakley said that such allegations “are taken seriously,”and that the Office of Refugee Resettlement is swift “to investigate and respond.”

“The safety of minors is our top concern when administering our unaccompanied alien children program. Each of our grantees running standard shelters is licensed by the respective state for child-care services,” Oakley said, adding that “background checks of all facility employees are mandatory.”

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