[Editor’s Note: Notice how the damn corporations running this criminal operation an the government refused comment to the reporters. Evil grows in silence. This is fascism in all its ugly shades of dark. — Mark L. Taylor]
By Aura Bogado
Kids On The Line / Reveal (7/21/19)
The federal government is quietly expanding its use of shelters to house infants, toddlers and other young asylum-seekers. One Phoenix facility housed 12 children ages 5 and under, Reveal has learned, some as young as 3 months old, all without their mothers.
As part of this expansion, the government has designated three facilities to house newborns and unaccompanied teen mothers. Records obtained by Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting indicate a dozen children arrived at Child Crisis Arizona starting in mid-June, after it garnered a $2.4 million contract to house unaccompanied children through January 2022.
The kids, some of whom entered the facility as recently as Thursday and hail from Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Ecuador and Brazil, are each living in Child Crisis without a parent.
One of the infants is just 2 weeks old and was born in the United States, making the child a U.S. citizen in the custody of the federal refugee agency.
It’s unclear where the children’s parents are located. Child Crisis didn’t respond to multiple requests for comment. The Office of Refugee Resettlement told Reveal on Friday that it’s working on a response to our questions about the whereabouts of the children’s parents.
The revelations come as the government draws widespread and growing protest over the treatment of infants, children and adults in its care. As advocates and attorneys monitor overcrowding and inhumane conditions at existing locations, new government-financed facilities, run by three agencies within two federal departments, continue to pop up around the country.
Children in at least one of these shelters, which holds a newborn, have not been provided legal services. Meanwhile, hundreds of children at the Carrizo Springs emergency shelter just outside San Antonio are not receiving legal services stipulated under federal law, Reveal has learned.
In addition, Crisis Care Arizona, a nonprofit, was recently cited by state officials for deficiencies before the arrival of unaccompanied infants and toddlers. Inspectors from the Arizona Department of Health Services found hazardous conditions in one location in February, including a “tall floor lamp (that) was unstable and tipped forward easily when light pressure was applied,” as well as unsanitary toys and chipped paint in both the restrooms and outdoor play area.
In January, state monitors found several records for children in Child Crisis’ care lacked information about a parent or health care provider. State standards indicate that water in the sink next to the diaper-changing station should run between 86 degrees and 110 degrees to ensure that employees’ hands are properly disinfected. The sink at Child Crisis in January measured just 70 degrees.
Inspections at three Child Crisis locations in Phoenix and Mesa over the past three years revealed 37 violations, including a lack of drinking water for children in classrooms, a missing lid on a vessel containing soiled diapers, an incomplete first-aid kit, and “dried yellow-orange liquid splatters on the base of one toilet.”
Phoenix City Council member Carlos García said he’s concerned about the welfare of the children at the facility. “Because of the recent deaths and rampant abuse, sexual or otherwise, at the hands of this administration, we need to make sure these kids’ lives are a priority,” he said, adding that reunification with a parent or other family member should happen as soon as possible.
“For those who don’t have that option, we need community response to make sure these children are taken care of,” he said.
In Pennsylvania, meanwhile, Bethany Children’s Home is housing 11 children, including an unknown number of infants, on its campus in Womelsdorf, Reveal has learned. Bethany Children’s Home was awarded a $3.5 million grant in late April to house unaccompanied children through early 2022.
The organization’s website says that its unaccompanied child population includes trafficking victims “ages infant through eighteen years of age (who) are in desperate need of a safe and appropriate shelter while seeking reunification with their family members.” The goal, according to the website, is to facilitate 65 new unaccompanied children.
Beating & suicide
Just weeks before Bethany Children’s Home was awarded its federal grant, a Philadelphia jury awarded the father of a 16-year-old $2.9 million after she took her own life while living at the facility – the result of a 12-day trial. And in January, a Bethany Children’s Home employee pleaded guilty to charges related to setting up a teen to be beaten by two others while on a school bus.
Inspection records issued by the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services in the last two years indicate a vast array of violations of state standards at the various homes that make up the Bethany Children’s Home campus. These include an allegation of sexual abuse by a staffer that wasn’t immediately reported to the state, problems with children’s medication logs and improper use of restraints – after a staffer placed a child into a restraint when the child was verbally aggressive and kicked a radiator. …
Texas-Born American Citizen Student Held In Immigration Custody For Weeks
“When Border Patrol checked his documents, they just didn’t believe they were real. They kept telling him they were fake.”
The HuffPost (7/24/19)
An 18-year-old born in Texas was released from Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention on Tuesday after being wrongfully held for more than three weeks, his attorney said.
Francisco Erwin Galicia, a rising high school senior in Edinburg, Texas, had been held in custody, first by Customs and Border Protection and then by ICE, since late June, his attorney told The Associated Press.
“Generally, situations including conflicting reports from the individual and multiple birth certificates can, and should, take more time to verify,” the statement read. “While we continue to research the facts of the situation, this individual has been released from ICE custody. Both CBP and ICE are committed to the fair treatment of migrants in our custody and continue to take appropriate steps to verify all facts of this situation.”
Galicia was traveling across Texas for a college soccer tryout with his younger brother and friends on June 27 when he was taken into custody at a border patrol checkpoint, his attorney, Claudia Galan, told The Dallas Morning News.
Galan said Galicia had proper identification with him, including a wallet-sized Texas birth certificate, a Texas identification card and a Social Security card. Customs and Border Protection agents grew suspicious when they discovered that Galicia’s 17-year-old brother, who was born in Mexico, didn’t have any legal status to be in the U.S. …