The Trump administration allows child sexual abuse at the border

The Trump administration allows child sexual abuse at the border

The Trump administration allows child sexual abuse at the border
March 21
01:18 2019

The federal government has reported that more than 4,500 complaints have been filed reporting that minors in immigration detention centers were sexually abused either by adult staff members or other minors, according to the New York Times.

The severity of this issue should no longer be ignored, especially by the man whose policies increased the instances of child abuse: President Trump. The number of cases has risen as a direct result of his “Zero Tolerance” policy.

For example, from March 2018 to July 2018 the Office of Refugee Resettlement has received 859 complaints — the largest number of reports during any five-month span in the previous four years — according to the New York Times.

Trump’s administration clearly only cares about revoking any legal protection immigrants and asylum-seekers have. The administration has not done anything proactive to try to change the dynamic of the detention centers. Instead, he believes that separating families is the way to go.

What he fails to mention or maybe even consider is how traumatizing it is for young children to be snatched away from their family, let alone how damaging it is when there are predators preying on vulnerable migrant children.

To make matters worse, the Trump administration waived the requirements of a thorough FBI fingerprint check for employees at a site in Texas, according to NBC News. It is unknown how many employees were hired, only adding to the potential threat to migrant children. Not knowing who is being hired allows this atmosphere of danger in the detention centers to persist.

Another staggering problem is that in the facility in Texas, there were not enough clinicians to attend to the mental health of all the children. There were 2,300 children obtained, yet there were only about 1,300 employees to attend to them.

As stated previously, these children are dealing with the trauma of being thrust into a different country while separated from their family, and some of those children are being sexually abused. To not have enough clinicians on hand is an upsetting issue that should not even be a problem to begin with. Even though this problem has been solved at this specific detention center, other detention centers are still facing this exact issue.

As for the future of these children, actions should be taken in order to reduce the risk of endangerment. For starters, the government should not be separating families. Families staying together could help end the sexual abuse that is going on between workers and children.

Secondly, there should be more thorough background checks of the employees. We need to ensure every person working with the immigrants is actually safe enough to be around. Third, it should definitely be common practice to have enough clinicians at every detention center because an immigrant’s physical and mental health matters as much as a legal citizen’s.

Just because immigrants have entered the country “illegally” does not give our government the right to treat them as less than human.

Featured Illustration: Austin Banzon

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Megan Hernandez

Megan Hernandez

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3 Comments

  1. (Not a white male)
    (Not a white male) March 21, 18:25

    For starters, more complaints are being reported because there has been a massive increase in the asylum seeking population. Also, the percentage of the reports that were alleged to be assaults by staff members only made up 12% of the cases. It’s not like the staff is terrorizing the kids, granted it shouldn’t happen at all, and those who were reported should be removed immediately, but not clarifying that fact makes it your article resemble biased media.
    You are correct about traumatizing the children by exposing them to predators, but they are not in the safe facility in Texas, they encounter predators during their journey. 1 in 3 girls are raped on their journey to the border. Many of them are unaccompanied by their parents, or travel with people who claim to be their parents which makes up the majority of the children detained.
    Also, 1,300 employees to 2,300 children is a problem? Do you expect an employee for every single detainee? The ratio is 2:1 and that is certainly acceptable. 1:1 is more resources that taxpayers are providing for people who are breaking the law.
    What’s happening on the border is terrible and an issue that has to be fixed, but they do not separate families purely for their enjoyment, these people are undocumented and have to be processed and identified if they want to be in this country. They are receiving care much better than they had in their country, and their parents make the decision to put them through the process. The immigrants are certainly being treated as human, it’s not like we are going to put them up in hotels to stay while our hard working gov employees process them. If you can come up with a better plan, speak on it. Stirring this out dated narrative is not going to fix anything.

    Just my thoughts. I do not side one way or the other, but I have the ability to research and think critically about things that are going on. If Trump was running a prison camp that was violating human rights, I’d call for his head, but the fact is that would never be allowed to happen, and that’s not anywhere near what is happening currently.

    Reply to this comment
  2. Jaaie
    Jaaie March 22, 12:19

    The facts in this article are startling. The government allowing this to happen is ridiculous. Thank you for bringing important issues such as this to the forefront. Can’t wait to read more of your articles.

    Reply to this comment
    • JD
      JD April 18, 16:48

      The facts in this article are suspect and misleading and placing the blame at Trump’s feet is ridiculous.

      Reply to this comment

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