Unaccompanied Minor Migrants Report Abuse by CBP; Complaint Filed

"Widespread abuse of unaccompanied immigrant children at the hands of U.S. border officials spurred a group of civil and human rights organizations to file a complaint today on behalf of more than 100 children, each of whom reported experiencing abuse and mistreatment while in the custody of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the border enforcement agency within the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

“Border Patrol agents are committing appalling abuses of children all along the border,” said Ashley Huebner, managing attorney of the Immigrant Children’s Protection Project at the National Immigrant Justice Center. “Even worse, Border Patrol has been committing these abuses for years, and our organizations have notified the agency numerous times, yet nothing has changed. The recent increase in arrivals of young people at the border makes it especially urgent that CBP ensure all children in their custody are treated safely and humanely.”

“Border agents operate in a zone of impunity,” said James Lyall of the ACLU Border Litigation Project. “Given CBP’s recent promise to be more accountable and transparent, we call on the agency to finally address these systemic abuses in a serious and meaningful way.”

Today’s administrative complaint with DHS—the department’s only mechanism for seeking redress—was filed by the National Immigrant Justice Center (NIJC), the ACLU Border Litigation Project, Americans for Immigrant Justice (AI Justice), Esperanza Immigrant Rights Project (Esperanza), and the Florence Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project (Florence Project)." - ACLU of Arizona, June 11, 2014.