Thousands of allegations that migrant children in U.S. custody were subjected to sexual abuse, harassment or inappropriate sexual conduct were reported over a four-year span to the government agency tasked with overseeing their care, according to documents released Tuesday by a Democratic lawmaker.
The documents, provided by the office of Rep. Ted Deutch of Florida, show more than 4,550 allegations were reported to the Office of Refugee Resettlement between fiscal years 2015 and 2018. That agency, which prepared the documents, oversees the care of unaccompanied and separated migrant children and is a part of the Department of Health and Human Services.
During the same period, about 1,300 sexual abuse allegations were reported to the Department of Justice, according to the documents. Nearly 180 involved allegations of staff committing sexual abuse against migrant children at government-run shelters. The documents were first reported by Axios.
Source: Thousands of allegations of sexual misconduct toward migrant children reported : NBC News
When senior government officials and immigration advocates testified before Congress Thursday about the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” policy, they told harrowing stories about the thousands of children separated from their parents at the border last year.
One 8-year-old boy was taken from his father and sent to a shelter more than 2,000 miles away with the false promise that he would see his dad when he got there. And a mother, who lost all four of her children and was awaiting the return of her youngest, was given the wrong baby back.
While the formal policy of separating families who cross into the U.S. without documentation may have ended, senior government officials said that migrant children continue to be taken from their families at unknown rates –– on the basis of minor criminal violations and even unproven claims that their parents are unfit.
The hearing, held by a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee, was one of the Democrat’s first displays of oversight power after taking back control of the chamber in the 2018 midterms. Testimony from senior government officials offered an inside look into the bungled rollout of the zero tolerance policy and the Trump administration’s harried attempts to reverse course after a federal judge ordered it to reunify families. The officials also shed light on the murky conditions surrounding ongoing family separations.
Some of the most revealing testimony on Thursday came from Commander Jonathan White, a career public health official who helped oversee shelters for migrant children in 2017 and 2018 at the Office of Refugee Resettlement, which handles the care of migrant children under the umbrella of the Department of Health and Human Services.
Source: A mother was given back the wrong baby after it was taken from her at the border – VICE News
Appearing on CNN’s New Day Friday morning, a furious and emotional mayor of San Juan, Puerto Rico, lashed out at the White House for congratulating itself on the job it is doing with the post-hurricane humanitarian crisis, saying people are dying while White House officials are already patting themselves on the back. Speaking with host Alisyn Camerota, Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz blistered the White House over what it called a “good news story.” After viewing…
Source: ‘Dammit — people are dying here’: Furious San Juan mayor shreds White House response to Puerto Rico crisis