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Did Border Patrol Agents Abuse Detained Children? Does Anyone Care?

Did Border Patrol Agents Abuse Detained Children? Does Anyone Care?

“So they’re going to get away with it?” my wife asked me recently with a mix of anger and resignation in her voice. “Whatever happened to that story? It just disappeared.” 

“They” are the U.S. border patrol agents, guards and supervisors who manage–or who have managed in recent years–those notorious U.S. government-funded detention facilities that house migrant and refugee children. They take custody of these children, often having separated them from their parents. So they act in loco parentis (in place of parents), and assume responsibility for the welfare of these minors.   

“It” are the more than 4,500 complaints about alleged physical and sexual abuse of migrant and refugee children in these kinds of detention facilities that the federal government received over a period of four years, as revealed by the Justice Department last February (PDF). The abuse is alleged to have surged when the Trump administration implemented its cruel and ill-conceived policy of separating families at the U.S.-Mexico border to deter others from coming. 

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