Inside the abusive immigrant youth shelters – ThinkProgress

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Unaccompanied minors and kids separated on the border from their households live in shelters the place sexual abusers take care of them.

ProPublica obtained the police studies and name logs from greater than two-thirds of youth immigrant shelters run and/or contracted by the U.S. Well being and Human Providers Division’s Workplace of Refugee Resettlement. These shelters span 17 states and home round 10,000 immigrant youth at any given time.

Regardless of these shelters having a zero-tolerance coverage towards all types of sexual abuse or inappropriate conduct, the logs obtained by ProPublica present that previously 5 years, police have responded to no less than 125 calls reporting intercourse offenses these shelters.

That quantity doesn’t embody one other 200 calls from greater than a dozen HHS-contracted shelters that look after at-risk youth residing within the U.S. The decision information for these amenities don’t distinguish which calls got here from unaccompanied immigrants and which got here from different youth housed on the property.

“When you’re a predator, it’s a gold mine,” Lisa Fortuna, director of kid and adolescent psychiatry at Boston Medical Heart, advised ProPublica. “You’ve gotten full entry after which you might have youngsters which have already had this historical past of being victimized.”

Whereas it isn’t clear whether or not any of the kids talked about as victims within the studies had been separated from their dad and mom on the border on account of Trump administration insurance policies, the overall truth stays that the shelters the place immigrant youngsters are being held are sometimes harmful.

A 46-year-old youth care employee at a shelter in Tuscon, Arizona was fired and convicted after repeatedly molesting a 15-year-old Honduran boy.

“I do know what you need, I may give you something you want,” the employee reportedly stated to the kid, based on the police report.

In 2017, one other Honduran boy on the identical shelter was recovering from surgical procedure when he claims a employee on the shelter appeared at his bedside and reportedly stated, “You’ve gotten it very huge,” referring to the 17-year-old’s penis. Just a few days later, the identical worker brushed the teenager along with his hand whereas he was enjoying video video games. Based on the police report, the subsequent time the employees member approached him, the boy locked himself in a rest room.

Whereas nearly all of the offenders reported by ProPublica have since been positioned on administrative depart or convicted, some shelters at the moment make use of employees with a documented historical past of sexual misconduct.

As ThinkProgress has beforehand reported, The Villages, a shelter for unaccompanied minors, at the moment employs a person with a historical past of intercourse crimes. The shelter’s sole human useful resource worker, Jeffrey Montague, was banned from the Boy Scouts of America after allegations surfaced that he had made sexual advances on an alternate pupil at the highschool the place he labored. In October of 2007, Montague was charged with solicitation of sodomy in a public park in Topeka, Kansas, based on court docket information. He entered a diversion settlement one month later in Topeka Municipal Courtroom.

However as a result of the case was settled out of court docket, Montague handed a state background examine.

The Villages government director claims that as a result of Montague doesn’t have direct interplay with the kids, his checkered previous doesn’t matter. The Kansas Division of Kids and Households is at the moment investigating his employment on the shelter.

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