Watchdog Report Alleging US Agents Abused Migrants Reveals Oversight Needed - Rights Group
WASHINGTON (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 23rd October, 2021) A new watchdog report alleging US officials abused asylum-seeking migrants in recent years reveals that oversight is sorely needed at the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and other immigration enforcement agencies, Hope Border Institute Deputy Director Marisa Limon Garza told Sputnik.
"This report is sobering and absolutely necessary," Limon Garza said on Friday. "Each revelation helps the public understand how oversight is sorely needed for DHS and these enforcement agencies."
Limon Garza added that the dangerous rhetoric against migrants over the last several years undoubtedly helps foment a culture of violence and impunity.
On Thursday, a DHS spokesperson told Sputnik that the department does not tolerate abuse conducted by its personnel. 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 released earlier this week more than 160 internal reports that document allegations of physical, sexual and other abuses of asylum seekers by US border authorities.
In one cited example, 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 heavily redacted documents, which Human Rights Watch obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, also included reports of due process violations, harsh detention conditions, denial of medical care and discriminatory treatment at or near the US-Mexican border.