Children illegally detained at border post report sexual assault, retaliation from guards for protesting conditions.

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Children illegally detained at border post report sexual assault, retaliation from guards for protesting conditions.

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2019-07-11 02:55am

Of course children are being sexually assaulted. Anyone with the slightest knowledge of the history of ethnic cleansing or the detention of children (Residential Schools, for example) would know that was going to happen. ... n-n1027886
By Jacob Soboroff and Julia Ainsley
WASHINGTON — The poor treatment of migrant children at the hands of U.S. border agents in recent months extends beyond Texas to include allegations of sexual assault and retaliation for protests, according to dozens of accounts by children held in Arizona collected by government case managers and obtained by NBC News.

A 16-year-old Guatemalan boy held in Yuma, Arizona, said he and others in his cell complained about the taste of the water and the food they were given. The Customs and Border Protection agents took the mats out of their cell in retaliation, forcing them to sleep on hard concrete.

A 15-year-old girl from Honduras described a large, bearded officer putting his hands inside her bra, pulling down her underwear and groping her as part of what was meant to be a routine pat-down in front of other immigrants and officers.

The girl said "she felt embarrassed as the officer was speaking in English to other officers and laughing" during the entire process, according to a report of her account.

A 17-year-old boy from Honduras said officers would scold detained children when they would get close to a window, and would sometimes call them "puto," an offensive term in Spanish, while they were giving orders.

Earlier reports from investigators for the Department of Homeland Security's Office of the Inspector General from the El Paso and Rio Grande Valley sectors in Texas detailed horrific conditions for children and other migrants held in overcrowded border stations where they were not given showers, a clean change of clothes or the space to sleep. The reports from the Yuma CBP sector describe similar unsanitary and crowded conditions but go further by alleging abuse and other misconduct by CBP officers.

President Donald Trump has pushed back against reports of poor conditions for children, and Kevin McAleenan, acting secretary of the DHS, which oversees CBP, has said the reports are "unsubstantiated."

In a statement about the Yuma allegations, a CBP spokesperson said, "U.S. Customs and Border Protection treats those in our custody with dignity and respect and provides multiple avenues to report any allegations of misconduct. ... The allegations do not align with common practice at our facilities and will be fully investigated. It’s important to note that the allegation of sexual assault is already under investigation by the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General."

Ken Cuccinelli, acting director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, said Wednesday that the allegations are under investigation and will face multiple reviews.

"Anyone involved in sexual assault or physical harassment like that I would, of course, expect to be fired, not merely disciplined," he said on MSNBC.

The DHS had been sounding the alarm on overcrowding in border facilities for months, resulting in a $4.5 billion emergency funding bill recently passed by Congress. In Yuma, a soft-sided tent facility was opened at the end of June to accommodate overcrowding at the border station.

But in almost 30 accounts obtained from "significant incident reports" prepared between April 10 and June 12 by case managers for the Department of Health and Human Services, the department responsible for migrant children after they leave CBP custody, kids who spent time in the Yuma border station repeatedly described poor conditions that are not pure byproducts of overcrowding. They reported being denied a phone call, not being offered a shower, sleeping on concrete or outside with only a Mylar blanket, and feeling hungry before their 9 p.m. dinnertime.

One child reported "sometimes going to bed hungry because dinner was usually served sometime after 9 p.m. and by that time she was already asleep," according to the documents.

All children who gave accounts to case managers had been held at the border station longer than the 72 hours permitted by law.

Laura Belous, an advocacy attorney for an organization that provides legal services to migrant children, the Florence Immigrant & Refugee Rights Project, said her group was "horrified and sickened by the allegations of abuse ... But unfortunately, we are not surprised."

"The children that we represent have reported being held in overcrowded and unsanitary conditions for days," Belous said.

"Our clients tell us that they have seen CBP agents kick other children awake, that children do not know whether it’s day or night because lights are left on all the time, and that they have had food thrown at them like they were wild animals."

"Our clients and all migrants deserve to be treated with dignity and respect," she said.

Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., said Wednesday that he had visited the Yuma border station in April "and the human condition that I observed in Yuma was the worst state of the human condition I have ever seen in my life." But Gaetz also said, "I could tell you that the Border Patrol agents and the Homeland Security agents that were there were dealing with conditions that they had not trained for, they were not equipped to handle, and they were doing the very best they could under terrible circumstances."

Nearly every child interviewed by the HHS case workers after leaving the Yuma border station reported poor sleeping conditions. A 17-year-old boy from Guatemala reported having to sleep outside even though his clothes were wet from having recently crossed a river, likely the Colorado River.

Once he was transferred inside, the conditions were not much better. "He shared that there was not always space on the floor as there were too many people in the room. He further shared that there would be room available when someone would stand up," his report stated.

Many migrant children said they were either not given a mattress, a pillow or a blanket, or were just given a Mylar blanket instead.

Other children described being scared of the officers and said the officers would get angry if they asked for anything. One child wore soiled underwear for the 10 days he was in the border station because he was afraid to ask the officers for a clean pair, according to one of the reports. Another, a 15-year-old girl from Guatemala, described the food as "gross and cold most of the time."

Health and Human Services referred NBC News to the Department of Homeland Security for comment.

In a statement, Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, said, "These allegations are very concerning and need to be fully investigated. The president has denied any problems with these detention centers — despite multiple confirmed reports to the contrary — but it is the Trump administration’s own policies that have contributed to this humanitarian crisis and this lack of accountability."

Cummings has called on McAleenan to testify about the poor conditions for immigrants at the border.
"I know its easy to be defeatist here because nothing has seemingly reigned Trump in so far. But I will say this: every asshole succeeds until finally, they don't. Again, 18 months before he resigned, Nixon had a sky-high approval rating of 67%. Harvey Weinstein was winning Oscars until one day, he definitely wasn't."-John Oliver:

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Re: Children illegally detained at border post report sexual assault, retaliation from guards for protesting conditions.

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2019-07-11 03:02am

And the Orange Cock just ignored Congress to illegally open three more concentration camps: ... ess-limits
When members of Congress reached a bipartisan deal to end the government shutdown in February, they gave Immigration and Customs Enforcement a simple instruction: Stop detaining so many people. Instead, ICE pushed its detention population to an all-time high of 54,000 people, up from about 34,000 on an average day in 2016 and well above the 40,520 target Congress set for ICE.

Now, just after Congress rejected another request for more detention money, ICE is continuing to spend money it hasn’t been given. Mother Jones has learned that ICE has started using three new for-profit immigration detention centers in the Deep South in recent weeks. One of them has seen the death of three inmates following poor medical treatment and a violent riot in 2012 that left a guard dead.

Interviews with lawyers and prison officials and ICE records reveal that the agency has begun detaining migrants at the Adams County Correctional Center, a Mississippi prison operated by CoreCivic; the Catahoula Correctional Center, a Louisiana jail run by LaSalle Corrections; and the South Louisiana ICE Processing Center, run by GEO Group in Basile, Louisiana. ICE has not previously disclosed its use of the Adams County and Catahoula centers, though GEO Group did announce in April that ICE would soon begin using the Basile facility. On Tuesday, ICE spokesman Bryan Cox confirmed that all three facilities started housing ICE detainees late last month. Together, the three detention centers can hold about 4,000 people, potentially expanding ICE’s presence in Louisiana and Mississippi by 50 percent.

Conditions at the Adams County prison have been particularly bad. Complaints by inmates there about inadequate medical care, staff mistreatment, and rotten food contributed to a 2012 riot that left one guard dead and more than a dozen people injured. The Justice Department announced in May that it would stop using the prison. ICE has decided to fill that void.

ICE had the capacity to detain only about 2,000 people in Louisiana and Mississippi at the start of Donald Trump’s presidency. But contracts signed with private prison companies in the past year have pushed ICE’s capacity in those states above 10,000 people. The horrifying conditions uncovered by Mother Jones at the Winn Correctional Center in Louisiana and by The Nation at Adams County helped push Barack Obama’s Justice Department to move to end its use of private prisons. Since June, ICE has started sending asylum seekers to both of those prisons.

Concentrating asylum seekers in Southern states makes it particularly likely that they will lose their cases because of the region’s harsh judges and shortage of immigration lawyers. There are not enough judges in Louisiana to hear the new cases, and there are no immigration courts in Mississippi. As a result, many of these new asylum seekers will be forced to represent themselves in video hearings with out-of-state judges. (The Southern Poverty Law Center and American Civil Liberties Union of Louisiana are suing ICE to try to force it to release more asylum seekers from detention in Louisiana and other Southern states.)

Homero López, the executive director of the Louisiana legal aid organization ISLA, says that even some Louisiana detainees who can afford a lawyer aren’t able to get one because of how quickly ICE is expanding in the state. “ICE is saying they want to get to 15,000 [detainees] by the end of the summer in Louisiana,” López says, based on what he’s heard from guards and other lawyers. “There’s an intentional, purposeful approach behind this of putting people where they can’t access counsel.”

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The Trump administration argues that it needs to expand capacity so that it can keep asylum seekers in detention while their cases are pending. Carla Provost, the head of the Border Patrol, said in May that the United States would “lose control” of its border if it began quickly releasing single adults. Most of the record number of families crossing the border are already being released because of a legal settlement that prevents children from being detained for more than about 20 days. But single adults, most of whom used to be released while their asylum cases were pending, are often detained indefinitely under a Trump administration policy that has pushed detention populations to record highs.

The Catahoula jail is the fifth LaSalle jail or prison in Louisiana that ICE has started using since February, the month Congress told ICE to cut back on detention. An assistant warden told Mother Jones that ICE began sending people there last week, shortly after Congress voted to provide $4.6 billion to address the humanitarian crisis at the southern border without giving ICE the extra detention money it had requested. Asked how detaining immigrants compared to holding criminals, the warden said, “It’s a breeze.” (The bill gave ICE an additional $208 million, but Congress directed that it go to areas like detainee medical care.)

Sarah Pierce, a policy analyst at the nonpartisan Migration Policy Institute, says it’s unclear where ICE is getting the money for the expansion, given that Congress just made a point of not giving it additional detention money. Pierce considers the expansion “especially brazen” in light of the recent reports showing children in Customs and Border Protection custody lacking “even the most basic resources.” She asks where immigration officials are finding the money to detain thousands of additional immigrants “if the administration cannot provide children with soap.”

ICE still hadn’t finalized the contract for the 2,232-person Adams County prison when Congress voted on the June spending bill, according to reporting from the Natchez Democrat. Marshall Goff, an attorney with the Mississippi law firm Chhabra & Gibbs, says his firm got its first clients from Adams County in the past two weeks and that many of the people being held there are asylum seekers.

Laura Rivera, a staff attorney with the Southern Poverty Law Center, says that some of her clients who were transferred to Adams County last week are still not showing up in ICE’s detainee locator tool. She says ICE also violated its own detention standards by failing to notify her of the transfer. “People just disappear from the system,” Rivera says. “It makes it extraordinarily hard to represent them.” Like all of the new ICE jails in the South, Adams County is remote. It is located on Hobo Fork Road on the outskirts of Natchez, a small city about two hours south of Jackson.

After Catlin Carithers was killed in the 2012 riot, Deborah Temple, a guard who was standing next to him at the time of the attack, said in an affidavit that she and colleagues had warned prison officials multiple times that the prison was dangerously understaffed. “My co-workers and I were told not to worry about it and to ‘suck it up,’” Temple said. “In fact, I was told to ‘put my big girl panties on and get back to work.’” The Justice Department’s Office of the Inspector General concluded in a 2016 report:

Four years after the riot, we were deeply concerned to find that the facility was plagued by the same significant deficiencies in correctional and health services and Spanish-speaking staffing. In 19 of the 38 months following the riot, we found CoreCivic staffed correctional services at an even lower level than at the time of the riot in terms of actual post coverage. Yet CoreCivic’s monthly reports to the BOP, which were based on simple headcounts, showed that correctional staffing levels had improved in 36 of those 38 months.

In July 2015, the Mississippi prison held about 2,300 immigrants, mostly from Mexico, serving criminal sentences in the custody of the Justice Department’s Bureau of Prisons. Only four of the prison’s 367 staff members spoke fluent Spanish, according to the Justice Department report. CoreCivic’s current job postings for the prison do not ask that supervisors be able to speak Spanish or any language other than English. Goff is particularly concerned by the lack of language skills. “If one of these detainees has a medical emergency on the unit, and nobody there speaks Punjabi or whatever language the detainee speaks,” he explains, “the detainee could die while staff are trying to get in touch with an interpreter.”

In The Nation‘s 2016 investigation, Seth Freed Wessler documented three cases where immigrant inmates died following poor medical treatment at Adams County. In one case, Juan Villanueva, a 39-year-old man from Mexico, complained in November 2011 that he had a swollen rib cage and that he was having trouble breathing. After Villanueva started throwing up blood in March 2012, a doctor recommended anti-nausea medication. As Wessler wrote:

Villanueva visited the clinic at least six times in four months. Not once did he see a doctor, despite his rapidly deteriorating health. On March 15, 2012, medical staff sent Villanueva to the hospital, where an X-ray showed a huge mass on his right lung. By the time he was diagnosed with lung cancer, it had metastasized to his brain.

Villanueva was transferred to a government medical facility for prisoners shortly before the riot and died about two months later. Justice Department investigators found that inadequate medical staffing levels continued at Adams for years after the riot.

Yoel Alonso, a Cuban asylum seeker, was moved to Adams County from a Louisiana detention center last Monday. He suffered from gout in Cuba, but the condition quickly worsened in ICE custody, and he has been using a wheelchair since December. After I met Alonso’s wife, Midalis Rodriguez, at her home outside Miami in May, she described Louisiana as “that hell,” a place with no respect for human rights. Rodriguez told me on Monday that she had spoken to her husband the day before, six days after he was sent to Adams County. Alonso told her that conditions in Mississippi were even worse than they had been in Louisiana.

“It’s a shame to say it,” Rodriguez said in Spanish, “but Yoel left a dictatorship and entered a new one.”
What is the point of having a Congress or courts if Trump ignores them with impunity? The law is meaningless if it is not enforced. The US is not heading toward being a dictatorship. It is one.

But remember, we can't impeach because it would be divisive. Fuck Pelosi for a cowardly collaborator with crimes against humanity. She should be expelled from the Speakership, and primaried.
"I know its easy to be defeatist here because nothing has seemingly reigned Trump in so far. But I will say this: every asshole succeeds until finally, they don't. Again, 18 months before he resigned, Nixon had a sky-high approval rating of 67%. Harvey Weinstein was winning Oscars until one day, he definitely wasn't."-John Oliver:

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