Horrific Mistreatment of Unwanted Alien Children in US
by Stephen Lendman
Last May, documents obtained by the ACLU revealed “pervasive abuse and neglect of unaccompanied immigrant children detained by US Customs and Border Protection.”
According to ACLU border litigation project staff attorney Mitra Ebadolahi, “(t)hese documents provide a glimpse into a federal immigration enforcement system marked by brutality and lawlessness,” adding:
“The misconduct demonstrated in these records is breathtaking, as is the government’s complete failure to hold officials who abuse their power accountable.”
Unwanted alien children in detention are subjected to verbal, physical and sexual abuse. They’re denied proper food, clean drinking water and medical care.
They’re detained “in freezing, unsanitary facilities.” All of the above are flagrant breaches of international and US statute laws.
ACLU’s border rights center director Astrid Dominguez called it “terrifying to think that the horrible abuses described in (the) documents (obtained) continue” accountably.
Rep. Debbie Dingell said she “saw cages for men, cages for women, cages for mothers and babies, cages for girls and cages for boys” – after visiting an ICE processing center and two immigrant detention centers in Texas weeks earlier.
Rep. Brenda Lawrence said detained mothers she spoke to all asked: “Can you help me find my children?”
On Friday, Los Angeles federal district judge Dolly Gee ordered independent monitoring in detention facilities for unwanted aliens, saying there’s a serious “disconnect” between the Trump regime’s assessment and hundreds of class action testimonies.
“It seems like there continue to be persistent problems,” she stressed, adding “I need to appoint an independent monitor to give me an objective viewpoint about what is going on at the facilities.”
Hundreds of sworn affidavits from parents and children detailed horrific inhumane treatment. Gee gave the Trump regime and lawyers representing detainees until August 10 to agree on a monitor or she’ll appoint one.
A ProPublica report quoted Boston Medical Center director of child and adolescent psychiatry Dr. Lisa Fortuna, saying “(i)f you’re a predator, (detention facilities are) a gold mine.”
“You have full access and then you have kids that have already had this history of being victimized.”
As of last weekend, the Trump regime failed to reunite hundreds of children with families, as court ordered.
Over 400 parents were deported without their children, hundreds more unjustifiably deemed ineligible for reunification.
Last week, the American Immigration Lawyers Association called on the Trump regime to return deported parents to the US to be reunited with their children.
On July 25, the ACLU urged a federal court to block deportation of unwanted aliens for at least seven days.
Many parents haven’t seen their children for months. They need time to consult with lawyers on their legal options, including whether they should contest deportation.
An ACLU court filing said “(t)he government took children, including babies, from their parents, and did not return them for weeks and often months.”
“The government should not now be able to argue that it cannot wait a mere seven days to remove these families, so that they can be advised on their life-altering decisions.”
Based on interviews with dozens of detained parents, the ACLU said they were pressured to sign documents waiving reunification without understanding what they signed.
ACLU immigrant rights attorney Lee Gelernt added: “The Trump administration’s lack of transparency is now bordering on stonewalling.”
“And no one should forget that the government’s claim (of complying with) the reunification deadline is based on its exclusion of parents it has deported or can’t locate, as well as on its unilateral, unchecked decision of who is eligible to be reunited or not.”
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