“Another organization that filed a complaint with DHS, Americans for Immigrant Justice, provided exclusive data compiled from screenings of more than 2,300 children detained by CBP last year. Half of them described ‘cold temperatures’ in holding facilities, nearly a third said they were held for longer than the 72 hours allowed under the law, and around 15 percent reported ‘lack of food/water.’ Verbal or physical abuse was reported by 7 percent of the children.
‘A number of them broke down crying,’ said Maite Garcia, supervising attorney with Americans for Immigrant Justice. ‘It stays with people for years to come.’
The abuse described in the four complaints runs the gamut from CBP agents calling migrant kids obscenities in Spanish to threatening to beat kids with a nightstick, to even more extreme cases. One 16-year-old girl from Mexico, identified by the initials PAM, said the agents pulled her hair and nearly knocked her over while conducting a body search. She was pregnant at the time.