In Our Name: Agency Documents Reveal Physical & Sexual Abuse Of Migrant Kids, Teens By Border Patrol

The authoritarian, fascist mind: ”Just following orders”.


By Gabe Ortiz
Daily Kos (5/24/18)

Internal government documents dating back to 2009 and obtained through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) by American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and International Human Rights Clinic at the University of Chicago School of Law, detail horror stories of child abuse, physical and sexual assault, verbal abuse and medical negligence at the hands of Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents. The details should be a national security concern, because border agents were already “monstrous” under Barack Obama, and under Donald Trump they have been unleashed and stand to endanger untold numbers:

“In one complaint we obtained, a Border Patrol agent grabbed a girl he claimed was running away, handcuffed her to someone else and dragged them together along the ground, causing “two bruises on her neck, scratches to her shoulders and arms, and thorns in her head.” A 16-year-old recounted that a Border Patrol agent threw him down before he used his boot to smash his head into the ground.

“Other children allege that agents assaulted them with their feet, fists, flashlights, and Tasers. In one case, an agent ran over a 17-year-old with a patrol vehicle and then got out and punched the child in the head and body. Often, children noted that other agents witnessed the abuse or saw the injuries but refused them medical attention. In one case, agents accused a pregnant minor of lying about the pain — which turned out to be labor contractions preceding a stillbirth.”

The records, from the Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, a DHS oversight agency, “show that the leadership at Customs and Border Protection were well aware of the allegations of unlawful child abuse—including people still now directing the agency—yet there is no indication that any individual official was ever held accountable for abuse,” the ACLU continues. Yet, this could be just a sliver of the abuse at the hands of government officials—the ACLU has yet to issue a report on the rest of the 30,000 documents spreading over three other agencies, including Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

Most corrupt

Border Patrol—called the most “corrupt” federal law enforcement agency in the country—has, along with ICE, been a danger to the public, engaging in extortion,purposefully destroying jugs of water left for migrants in the desert, violating international agreements, and even killing. Those are the incidents we actually know about. The new trove of documents are revealing further reprehensible—and criminal—acts, including sexual abuse of children:

“The abuse was also sexual. During an arrest in the desert in Phoenix, Arizona, an agent grabbed a child’s buttocks and only stopped when she screamed and another agent approached. In another incident, a 16-year-old girl reported that a Border Patrol agent forcefully spread her legs and touched her genitals so hard she screamed in pain.”

The documents come as the federal government has made tearing babies and young children from the arms of immigrant parents at the U.S./Mexico border official policy, and has floated turning military bases into internment camps for detained migrant children. Just hours ago, a Border Patrol agent shot and killed an unarmed woman. It’s federal immigration agents, not immigrants, who are the danger to public safety. …

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(Commoner Call cartoon by Mark L. Taylor, 2017. Open source and free for non-derivative use with link to )


Child Abusers: Trump’s Crackdown On Immigrant Parents Dumps More Kids In An Already Strained & Abusive System

Bully Boys: Trump, Jeff Sessions & John Kelly.

By Elise Foley & Roque Planas
The HuffPost (5/25/18)

Tens of thousands of children from Central America are apprehended at the U.S.-Mexico border each year, straining the government system caring for minors traveling to the U.S. without their parents. Now Donald Trump’s administration is stretching the system even further.

Until recently, families that illegally crossed together generally faced deportation proceedings in civil court. But as of this month, the Trump administration is following a blanket policy of referring for prosecution all people who cross illegally. The change means that authorities send parents to jails run by the U.S. Marshals Services and their children wind up in the same agency as minors who came to the U.S. without their parents ― sometimes without their parents being able to locate them.

The ORR recently lost track of nearly 1,500 children once in its custody and in 2014 released some minors to traffickers.

White House chief of staff John Kelly told NPR this month that once separated from their parents, children “will be taken care of — put into foster care or whatever.”

That “whatever” is the custody of the Office of Refugee Resettlement, part of the Department of Health and Human Services, which takes custody of unaccompanied children apprehended at the border, who by law may not be immediately deported. The ORR is charged with finding a sponsor for the children to live with ― ideally, a parent.

Even before Trump administration officials announced the new policy, the ORR was showing signs of strain.

While the number of children apprehended while traveling without their parents is lower than it was at its peak in 2014, border agents picked up more than 26,000 unaccompanied minors since October. The ORR recently lost track of nearly 1,500 children once in its custody and in 2014 released some minors to traffickers.

“They’re crippling an already overwhelmed system,” Michelle Brané, the director of migrant rights and justice at the Women’s Refugee Commission, said of the administration’s decision. “You take that situation in which children are released, and then there’s little to no follow-up, and add hundreds and hundreds of children ― thousands of children, eventually ― and you’re multiplying the level of the problem.” …

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(Commoner Call cartoon by Mark L. Taylor, 2017. Open source and free for non-derivative use with link to )


The Nightmare Inside America’s Child Immigrant Jails

The abuse detailed by the ACLU is not the conduct of a renegade agency; it is the official policy of the US government.

By Eric London
World Socialist Web Site (5/25/18)

A report published Tuesday by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) details the systematic brutalization of unaccompanied immigrant children captured by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) from 2009 to 2014 at the US-Mexican border. Under the Obama administration, methods employed against these youth echoed those practiced by the CIA and US occupation forces at black site torture centers and Iraq’s Abu Ghraib prison.

According to the report, “CBP officials regularly use force on children when such force is not objectively reasonable or necessary.” One agent told a 16-year-old he would “fuck him up” and then “threw him down and smashed his head into the ground with his boot.” Agents ran over another child in a truck and refused him treatment for a broken leg. Agents hit a 15-year-old with a thorny branch, smacked a child over the head with a metal flashlight, threw another child’s head against a rock and used Taser guns on children “for amusement.”

Officers routinely rape and sexually assault children. CBP agents forced one 16-year-old girl to strip and “forcefully spread her legs and touched her private parts so hard that she screamed.”

Even the language used by border guards conveys the depraved character of their fascistic conduct. Agents put another child in a room and said, “right now, we close the door, we rape you and fuck you.” A male and female agent forced another child to get naked while they watched her for 15 minutes, threatening to lock her in a room with a large male inmate to force her to be “his wife.”

Agents dehumanized the children with verbal abuse. Agents mocked one child for being “gay” and said, “these people just come here to get a sex change operation.” A pregnant young woman was told she was coming to the US to “contaminate this country.” Another agent asked a child why he “had come to fuck over this country.” Agents laughed when immigrants requested paperwork to file a complaint.

The Obama administration condoned and covered up the abuse, which violates both international law and the Eighth Amendment’s proscription of “cruel and unusual punishment.”

The government keeps immigrant children in cages that have “body fluids on the walls and floors, along with used sanitary napkins and used toilet paper containing feces on the floors, all of which cause a strong offensive odor throughout the processing area,” according to an internal government report.

Agents starve children and deny them access to water. One immigrant said agents refused repeated requests by mothers with infant children for milk. As a result, “children in the hold rooms were crying from hunger.” Other children were repeatedly given spoiled milk and spoiled meat that made them sick.

Agents deny children necessary medical attention. One agent sicced an attack dog on a child, causing his eye to bleed, and then refused him medical attention. In another case, agents “denied [a child] her pain medication and sanitary napkins after she underwent surgery for an ovarian cyst.”

Border guards also routinely throw out immigrants’ personal belongings, identity papers and legal documents, including those necessary for proving their asylum cases. Agents also pressure children to sign “self-deportation” papers waiving all of their legal rights. One agent told a boy to strip naked and then told him “he would remain unclothed if he did not agree to sign the document.” An agent told a teenage mother that he was going to rape her and then put her child in foster care if she did not sign a self-deportation form.

It began with Obama

The Obama administration condoned and covered up the abuse, which violates both international law and the Eighth Amendment’s proscription of “cruel and unusual punishment.”

In 2014, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced that it was drastically cutting routine inspections of immigrant detention centers. Later that year, the Obama administration ignored an ACLU Freedom of Information Act request for information about abuse of minors. The 30,000 pages of internal documents upon which the ACLU report is based were only released through a federal lawsuit initially filed in 2015.

One 2014 email exposed by the report typifies the Obama administration’s role. Responding to a complaint by one immigrant child, the Obama administration inspector wrote, “Are we sure we want to open this given the huge amount of more serious complaints we have?” In other words, the abuse detailed by the ACLU is not the conduct of a renegade agency; it is the official policy of the US government.

Conditions are only worsening under President Trump, who has encouraged the fascistic culture within the 20,000-strong border guard.

One immigrant who spent six months in a California detention center in 2017 told the WSWS, “It is very difficult to list all of the inhumane conditions. One of my fellow detainees tried to hang himself on a ladder, and another person hanged himself in the bathroom.”

This week, Trump repeated the racist claim that immigrants are “animals”, while Education Secretary Betsy DeVos said schools should report children to immigration agents for deportation. Last year, the US president encouraged police and immigration authorities to “rough up” arrestees. …

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  • Report Alleges Widespread, Often Brutal Government Abuse Of Migrant Children — The ACLU says detained immigrant children suffered pervasive abuse at the hands of U.S. border authorities. Lulu Garcia-Navarro speaks to law professor Claudia Flores, who helped draft the report. Link to 3-Minute Audio Report