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News > U.S.

Thousands of Abuse Allegations at Migrant Shelters for Minors

  • Officials say the number averages to one sexual assault per week by Health and Human Services (HHS)- contacted employees.

    Officials say the number averages to one sexual assault per week by Health and Human Services (HHS)- contacted employees. | Photo: Reuters

Published 26 February 2019

Over the last three years, migrant shelters have been implicated in 4,500 sexual abuse allegations against minors.

Over 1,300 sex abuse cases have been reported to the Department of Justice by unaccompanied minors migrating to the U.S., Congressman Ted Deutch said Tuesday.


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Documents released by the Health and Human Services (HHS) showed that over 4,556 complaints were made to the office which, after some investigation were either dismissed or sent to the Justice Department for further review.

“These documents detail an environment of systemic sexual assaults by staff on unaccompanied children,” said Deutch, calculating an average of one sexual assault per week by HHS- contacted employees.

“These documents demonstrate over the past three years there have been 154 staff-on-unaccompanied-minor - let me repeat that, staff-on-unaccompanied-minor - allegations of sexual assault," he told a judiciary committee at the House Tuesday.

The House Oversight and Reform Committee had a difficult time attaining the damning records, but after six weeks of steady requests, they were finally delivered along with dozens of others ahead of the sssion.

Chairman Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., said, “The Department of Justice and the Department of Homeland Security until last night stonewalled the legitimate request for information by this committee. That is absolutely inexcusable.”

The group also filed a subpoena against the Donald Trump administration for the ridiculous delays placed on investigations into the welfare and care of separated migrant families first broached in July, 2018.

Committee Chairman Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md, said, “It is our job to step in and protect those children. Further delay is not an option. When our own government rips vulnerable children, toddlers and even infants from the arms of their mothers and fathers with no plan to reunite them, that is government-sponsored child abuse.”

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