Scathing Reports of Government’s Neglect of Migrant Children

Children and Infants Neglected at Immigrant Detention Centers 

A new report described the humanitarian crisis involving U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and more than 250 children, including infants living in “squalor and neglect” due to a lack of sanitation, food, and water at a facility in Texas. Within the report were interviews between lawyers, physicians, psychologists, and caseworkers and the children who shared information about their living conditions. Several media outlets have since covered the story and shared these horrific examples of neglect.

  • The Associated Press: “The conditions within which they are held could be compared to torture facilities,” said Dr. Dolly Lucio Sevier. “That is, extreme cold temperatures, lights on 24 hours a day, no adequate access to medical care, basic sanitation, water, or adequate food.”
  • PBS NewsHour: “A Border Patrol agent came in our room with a 2-year-old boy and asked us, ‘Who wants to take care of this little boy?’ Another girl said she would take care of him, but she lost interest after a few hours and so I started taking care of him yesterday,” one of the girls said in an interview with attorneys.

After the report, the acting head of CPB stepped down, and U.S. officials opened the a building to journalists.

Chicago’s History of Immigrant Detention Centers

For more than 20 years, Chicago has also been the home to thousands of young migrant detainees. Some of these immigrants either crossed the border alone or as we have come to know over the last year, taken from their parents and placed into the custody of the CBP and then overseen by the U.S. Health and Human Services department’s Office of Refugee Resettlement. The largest detainee shelter agency for these children in Illinois is a 130-year-old nonprofit organization branded with the name Heartland and at the center of countless accusations of child abuse, neglect, and sexual assault.

No child in the care of others should endure this type of treatment, and no person should allow it to continue. Shelter workers may feel helpless because they are stretched too thin to devote the attention to vulnerable children under their care. Staff should not be weak and know that reporting any wrongdoing or maltreatment of a child is the right thing to do.

Respected Personal Injury, Abuse and Neglect Attorneys in Chicago

Levin & Perconti has become one of the most widely known and respected personal injury, abuse and neglect law firms in Illinois, achieving multiple million-dollar verdicts and settlements. If you know of a migrant child who has sustained a physical or emotional injury in a facility or shelter, you can help them.

These can be complicated cases for care workers to sort through alone, so please contact us now for a free consultation or schedule a call with one of our skilled attorneys by dialing (877) 374-1417 or (312) 332-2872.

Also read: 4 Illinois Immigrant Shelters Will Close After Repeated Incidents of Child Maltreatment

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