HHS shows sexual abuse issues in migrant youth detention centers

HHS shows sexual abuse issues in migrant youth detention centers

Bottom Line:A new data release from Health and Human Services in-conjunction with the Department of Justice shows the potential for significant sexual abuse to have taken place at youth migrant detention centers, including the Homestead facility. The report released yesterday shows the following...

Between 2014-2018:

  • There were 4556 reported complaints of sexual abuse 

Of those... 

  • 1,303 were referred to the Department of Justice

Of the referred cases the perpetrators were reported to be...

  • 65% another minor 
  • 19% unknown
  • 14% staff
  • 1% non-adult staff

There are no shortage of concerns to go around here. The first is the most obvious to me. If it’s true that there were 178 instances of sexual abuse by staff members, those perpetrators should be tried and if found guilty, sentenced to the harshest possible penalties under federal law – sending a message loud and clear to anyone who’d attempt to victimize a child they’re tasked with caring for. The next observation is the concern we should have about the potential for rampant juvenile sexual predators, the lion’s share of the claims. What’s being done about these kids? And heaven forbid their parents are granted status and we have new juvenile sexual offenders being released into society. But here’s the biggest thing. The premise. 

Why is it that we have this problem in the first place? If we gave our Border Patrol the resources, they needed to maintain our southern border, including their requested wall, this wouldn’t be anywhere near the issue it is today. It’s unfortunate that parents recklessly crash our southern border seeking entry with their children. It’s unfortunate that we don’t maintain our borders so they can crash our borders with their children. It’s unfortunate that we need so many facilities to house all of the people detained by those attempting to protect us and uphold the laws of this country. It’s unfortunate that anyone would be victimized while there. 

But what’s most sad are the politicians who’d rather play politics than actually attempt to solve the problem. It starts at the border. 

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