DHS Says Does Not Tolerate Misconduct Amid Reports Migrants Abused By US Officials

DHS Says Does Not Tolerate Misconduct Amid Reports Migrants Abused By US Officials

WASHINGTON (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 22nd October, 2021) The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) does not tolerate abuse conducted by its personnel, a DHS spokesperson told Sputnik on Thursday when asked to comment on a watchdog report alleging US officials abused asylum-seeking migrants.

Human Rights Watch said earlier that it obtained more than 160 internal reports that document allegations of physical, sexual and other abuses of asylum seekers by US border authorities.

"The Department does not tolerate any form of abuse or misconduct," the spokesperson said in a statement.

DHS has conducted an internal review to address any abuses within the DHS since Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas has been office, including terminating those engaged in misconduct, the spokesperson said.

However, the spokesperson did not disclose if DHS took action to address the allegations brought to light in the documents obtained by the human rights organization.

Human Rights Watch said the heavily redacted documents, which it obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, also include reports of due process violations, harsh detention conditions, denial of medical care and discriminatory treatment at or near the US-Mexican border.

In one example cited, the records show that a supervisor in the San Francisco Asylum Office communicated the following internally at DHS:

"AO (asylum officer) (redacted) brought a serious matter to our attention just now: one of the applicants she interviewed today has a young child who was sexually molested by someone we believe to be a CBP (Customs and Border Protection) or Border Patrol Officer. They were apprehended by Border Patrol, sent to the Ice Box (a border holding cell), then this occurred: the young girl was forced to undress and touched inappropriately by a guard in the Ice Box wearing green, with the nametag (redacted)."

The documents do not record how DHS responded to the allegations, prompting HRW to question whether serious charges reported internally are being effectively investigated, the release said.

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