The Shocking Truth On Immigrant Children: Abused by Border Patrol, Some Go Missing

However you may feel about undocumented immigration, all decent human beings should be able to agree that child migrants ought to be treated adequately. Children joining their parents into the country aren’t lawbreakers, and even if we do ultimately send them back to their home nation, we have the responsibility of providing adequate care to them in the meantime.

Alas, that’s not how the United States has chosen to handle immigrant minors. Two headlines to emerge in the past week raise some major red flags about how we see fellow humans:

RAMPANT ABUSE

The ACLU just released a new report detailing the kind of treatment migrant minors are subject to from Border Patrol. These young migrants were taunted, physically assaulted, sexually assaulted and had pressing medical issues ignored for days at a time. That’s an atrocious way to treat adults in their custody, never mind that these things were being done to children.

“The records 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,” said Mitra Ebadolahi of the ACLU.

Even more worrisome – the report covered the years 2009-2014 under the Obama administration. Can you even imagine what kind of treatment these kids must be receiving nowadays when the president is encouraging subordinates to view immigrants as subhuman individuals unworthy of respect? Presumably, the abuse is only more widespread with the expectation that there will be no oversight.

WHERE DID THE KIDS GO?

I’m having trouble understanding this, and the government is having an even harder time trying to explain how this happened, but here’s the situation: 1,475 migrant children the government took into its custody last year are now unaccounted for.

Out of 7,635 immigrant children Health and Human Services followed up with, the agency discovered that 6,075 were living with their sponsor family, 28 ran away, five were deported and 52 had moved to another sponsor’s home. That still left nearly 1,500 kids that the government deemed “missing.”

How is it remotely acceptable to have a roughly 20 percent “lost” rate for immigrant kids in our system? Where in the hell are they going?

“You are the worst foster parents in the world. You don’t even know where they are. We are failing,” Senator Heidi Heitkamp, a Democrat from North Dakota, said after seeing this report.

Senator Rob Portman, a Republican from Ohio, echoed his colleague’s sentiments. “HHS has a responsibility to better track these children so they aren’t trafficked or abused.”

In fact, the current system of placing these immigrant children with families was designed with the intention of keeping kids out of the hands of human traffickers. However, the Senate documented cases of HHS actually assigning kids TO human traffickers, where they were forced to perform long days of labor and threatened with bodily harm if they didn’t work. Again, just how poor is this system if something like that can happen?

THINGS ARE ONLY GOING TO GET WORSE

Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ latest threat to border-crossers is that the administration’s policy will be to deliberately separate children from their parents. It’s not only a completely heartless approach to a complicated situation, it’s also downright irresponsible when you consider how poorly the children the government takes guardianship over are treated. In light of all we now know, it shouldn’t even be an option to take these children away from their parents.

 

Photo credit: Thinkstock

68 comments

Ruth R
Ruth Rabout a month ago

please, lawsuits to save these children

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Chad A
Chad Anderson2 months ago

Thank you.

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Lesa D
Lesa D2 months ago

inexcusable...

thank you Kevin...

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Cindy S
Cindy S2 months ago

horrible!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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DAVID f
Dave fleming2 months ago

Whats going on ?

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David C
David C2 months ago

America is supposed....or was....to be the land of opportunity.....
“Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed, to me:
I lift my lamp beside the golden door.” …...and of course we stole this land from the "native americans"...…...awful

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Joan E
Joan E2 months ago

Vote out this Nazi regime. Protect children from being stuck in cages and removed from their mothers. This is what you get when you (and Putin) choose a president who has no conscience.

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Kate G
Kate G2 months ago

these children need to be protected. as a parent i can not even imagine what it is like to be in a situation that is so awful that I would undergo the horrendous and hazardous trip to try to get to the US to save my family only to have it ripped apart.

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Karen H
Karen H2 months ago

More than a few people here fail to understand (or believe) that the parents ARE considering their kids. They're fleeing countries where life expectancy is zero due to violence. They're hoping to find safety somewhere - anywhere. Nobody wants them, but nobody's doing anything to stop the violence that's driving people here. Their solution is, "You're coming here and we don't want you, so we'll take your kids away and send you back to the murderous hellhole you came from. And on top of that, we'll 'forget' where we put your kid." Imagine how YOU would feel if you were in this situation.

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Jackie Q
Jackie Q2 months ago

There are not enough homes wanting the kids that need adopting in the US. Yes these kids should not be lost BUT how about not putting their own kids in this situation and not come illegally. Blame is also on these children's parents. Showing their kids at young ages to not follow the law, no matter where they live, is not good parenting. Maybe some, if not all, these kids are with other relatives that take them without notification to hide them from the law.

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