Reports Of Child Molestation As Trump Misses Immigrant Family Reunification Deadline

There are now reports of children being molested in youth centers run by the U.S. government

In this June 13, 2018 photo, Nicole Hernandez, of the Mexican state of Guerrero, holds on to her mother as they wait with other families to request political asylum in the United States, across the border in Tijuana, Mexico. The family has waited for about a week in this Mexican border city, hoping for a chance to escape widespread violence in their home state. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

In this June 13, 2018 photo, Nicole Hernandez, of the Mexican state of Guerrero, holds on to her mother as they wait with other families to request political asylum in the United States, across the border in Tijuana, Mexico. The family has waited for about a week in this Mexican border city, hoping for a chance to escape widespread violence in their home state. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

The Rantt Rundown: Day 554 of the Trump presidency

The Big Story: Today, ProPublica released a piece of incredible journalism that analyzed 70 of the 100 immigrant youth shelters that are run by the U.S. Health and Human Services (HHS) department’s Office of Refugee Resettlement. The shelters hold over 10,000 unaccompanied minors, with last year marking the number of kids younger than 13 at 17% of that. ProPublica obtained more than 1,000 pages of police reports and call logs, which detail hundreds of reports of sexual abuse, fights, and missing children dating back to 2014. Immigration advocates have noted that the Trump administration’s immigration policies have added increased pressure on these already understaffed shelters, likely making the environment even worse. From reports of groping to forced sexual activities, the allegations are horrific.

The Nation also reported that a 6-year-old girl that was separated from her parents by Trump’s zero-tolerance policy was molested by an older child at Southwest Key Programs shelter, one of the shelters mentioned in the ProPublica report. These reports of abuse come after reports of forced injection, physical abuse, and lawsuits alleging multiple migrant women in ICE custody have been denied medical care, leading them to bleed for hours and have miscarriages.

The Context: The deadline to reunite the almost 3,000 immigrant children that remained separated from their parents was this week on July 26th. The June 26 federal court decision required that the 102 younger children be reunited by July 10th while the remaining almost 3,000 that were still in the custody of Health and Human Services (HHS) were ordered to be reunited by July 26th. Since it appeared the Trump administration had no plan for reunification once they separated the children, they failed to meet that deadline. CNN reported:

According to a court filing, the government has reunited 1,442 families with children aged 5 and older by late Thursday. The government says an additional 378 children have already been released under “appropriate circumstances,” according to the court filing. That includes children released to another family member or friend who can care for them, children who were released to parents already out of government custody and those who have turned 18.

There are over 700 separated children still in custody, due to families they’ve deemed “ineligible” for reunification, either because they had suspicions about the parents or they could not locate them. There have also been more than 400 parents of the separated children deported. These are people who are fleeing violence in their home countries, seeking asylum in the United States.

The Look Ahead: A reminder that President Trump’s own policy started this humanitarian crisis with his “zero tolerance” engineered by White House Adviser Stephen Miller and implemented by Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen. President Trump was forced by public pressure to end this policy, and court rulings have forced him to reunite these families. The pressure must be kept up until these wrongs are righted.

As for future policies, President Trump has repeatedly called for the end of immigrants’ due process rights at the border, all while his “denaturalization task force” takes aim at immigrants already residing in the U.S. And now, the Trump administration is reportedly discharging immigrants who are fighting for our country in the U.S. military.

There are still countless questions to be answered, thousands of families to be reunited, and multiple reports of abuse that must be addressed.

The Republican-led Congress hasn’t held a single hearing on the Trump administration’s immigration policies.

In other news…

Rundown // Donald Trump / Human Rights / ICE / Immigration