A scathing report released this week alleges that U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents neglected and abused more than 100 migrant children who were in their custody.
The report, from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the University of Chicago Law School International Human Rights Clinic, is based on thousands of pages of records detailing accusations from 116 unaccompanied minors, many of whom were asylum-seekers, while in temporary detention centers.
“Migrant children long have reported varied mistreatment in CBP custody, including sexual, physical, and verbal abuse, and the deprivation of basic needs such as food, water, and emergency medical care,” the ACLU said in a summary of the report.
Some children accused officers of punching or kicking them and running them over with vehicles. Others described being tased and verbally abused by officers.
Children also described being deprived of edible food and water, held in freezing cells, touched inappropriately by officers and threatened with rape or death.
“These records document a pattern of intimidation, harassment, physical abuse, refusal of medical services, and improper deportation,” the report said. “These failures have allowed a culture of impunity to flourish within CBP, subjecting immigrant children to conditions that are too often neglectful at best and sadistic at worst.”