photo credit: Evan El-Amin // Shutterstock
Its sad enough that families are coming to our country for refuge and being split apart, but to now find out that thousands of migrant children have been sexually abused while in U.S. government custody, is heartbreaking.
According to Department of Health and Human Services documents, over the past 4 years there were more than 4,500 complaints of sexual abuse have been received by the Office of Refugee Resettlement, and 1,303 have been received by the Department of Justice. The abuse comes from other minors, adult staff at the facilities, non-adult staff, and a percent of the abuse comes from an “unknown.”
Allegations against staff members reported to the DOJ included everything from rumors of relationships with unaccompanied minors (UACs) to showing pornographic videos to minors to forcibly touching minors’ genitals.
In response to the findings, the Department of Health and Human Services says, “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. In addition to other rigorous standards put in place by the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) at HHS’ Administration for Children and Families, background checks of all facility employees are mandatory. These are vulnerable children in difficult circumstances, and ORR fully understands its responsibility to ensure that each child is treated with the utmost care. When any allegations of abuse, sexual abuse, or neglect are made, they are taken seriously and ORR acts swiftly to investigate and respond.”
The documents were presented during a high-profile House hearing on Tuesday on Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” policy that resulted in thousands of immigrants children being separated from their parents.
Written by Clarke Jones