PHOENIX — A complaint filed by several organizations alleges U.S. border officers have been abusing illegal immigrants for at least 10 years.
Customs and Border Patrol agents are accused of abusing children while in their custody, according to a complaint filed by the National Immigrant Justice Center, the Esperanza Immigrant Rights Project, Americans for Immigrant Justice, Florence Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project and ACLU Border Litigation Project.
The purported abuse has been on-going for at least a decade, with the most recent documented incident occurring within the past three months. Attorneys for the organizations say the abuse was reported but no action was ever taken.
The complaint states one in four children reported some form of physical abuse, including sexual assault, beatings and the use of stress positions by CBP officials. More than half of these children reported various forms of verbal abuse — including racially and sexually-charged comments and death threats.
More than half reported the denial of medical care, including two young mothers whose infant children became sick while detained in freezing temperatures, and another child whose asthma medication was confiscated while she suffered multiple asthma attacks.
The complaint also alleged children didn’t have adequate food, mothers with infants were denied milk, denied water or bathing facilities. The conditions of some of these holding facilities have been described as deplorable and kept at near-freezing temperatures while the children were not provided beds or blankets.
“This complaint is further proof that CBP is an agency in need of massive reform, this should be the final straw,” said ACLU Attorney James Lyall. “These children’s stories are horrific, but it’s just the latest indication that CBP is out of control.”
A victim’s account, which is included in the public copy of the complaint and summarized to protect the young girl paints a startling picture.
After CBP transferred 15-year-old K.M. to ORR custody, K.M. reported that one of the girls with whom she was detained was covered in bruises on her chest and face. The girl initially claimed her injuries had occurred when she fell. When pressed, however, the girl admitted that when she was apprehended, a CBP official took her into a cave and raped her. The girl said that she was afraid to come forward or make a complaint because the CBP official threatened her.
- 6 tips to create the best family movie night
- New bone marrow procedure holds promise for healing pain
- The best places to celebrate Fall in Phoenix
- Infamous athletes who did the most time for their crimes
- 2016 baseball highlights, bloopers and blunders
- See how CFOs really feel about business in the Valley
- The best television shows on the internet
- A preseason guide to avoid holiday weight gain
- The 5 worst things you could do for your roof
- 6 coolest things brewing in Arizona
- The virus that keeps head and neck cancers on the rise
- State Fair ‘Kid Reporter’ has all the angles covered
- 4 important things to know about timeshare maintenance fees
- Signs of delayed car crash injuries
- The truth about sports concussions
- The Alzheimer's epidemic: Facts you need to know
- The season is here, keep your Fantasy Football team strong all season
- 8 TV shows you can't miss this fall
- Football is here: 6 tips to make this your best season ever
- Gameday recipes and beers to match
- 6 reasons the Cardinals are driven to win the Super Bowl
- The Pac-12 football season nears kickoff
- Tips to get ready for a pain-free golf season
- Protect your family with these 7 home security features
- How to train like an Olympic swimmer
- 2016 Olympics: A guide to must-see TV events
- The bride's guide to feeling your best on your wedding day
- Deciding when you need knee surgery
- Celebrating Fourth of July is much cooler in these AZ towns
- Top ten road trip bathrooms in America
- ‘Supernatural’ TV show convention comes to Arizona
- Jan Brewer thinks Paul Penzone will have tough time beating Sheriff Joe Arpaio
- Mac & Gaydos joined by Burmese python after losing March Madness bet
- Mac and Gaydos deliver pizzas to winning class in REDucation contest
- Civil rights activist wants Phoenix-area NAACP boss to step down after incident