Today Representative Lucille Roybal-Allard reacted to the release of a Women’s Refugee Commission (WRC) report documenting the experiences of the growing number children who are undertaking harrowing journeys to the U.S. to escape escalating violence in Central America.
According to the report’s authors, this surge in the number of child migrants has badly strained the federal resources available for their care and protection. More troublingly, many of these children have reported mistreatment at the hands of Border Patrol agents and other federal authorities. Kids interviewed by WRC investigators described suffering physical and verbal abuse, being confined in overcrowded cells for long periods and having their personal property unlawfully destroyed. One even witnessed a pregnant woman being tasered and then hand-cuffed in the desert by Border Patrol personnel.
Rep. Roybal-Allard continues to strongly condemn this pattern of mistreatment and has called on Congress and the Administration to take action.
“As the Women’s Refugee Commission report clearly shows, an untold number of child migrants have endured abuses and indignities in our government’s custody that should shock and embarrass us as Americans. These vulnerable kids deserve better. We need greater resources to ensure that their needs are met and better oversight to guarantee that they are always treated with the respect and compassion they deserve. As the number of Central American child migrants continues to grow, I look forward to working with the Administration and my colleagues in Congress to make certain that these victims of our broken immigration system are no longer neglected.”
Rep. Roybal-Allard has introduced a bill, HR 2235, the Child Trafficking Victims Protection Act, which would require the Department of Homeland Security to hire licensed social workers to ensure child migrants receive proper care.