Documents recently made public reveal nearly 6,000 complaints of sexual abuse were filed on behalf of migrant children in US custody over the last four years. The Health and Human Services and Department of Justice reports were uncovered during an investigation by the House Judiciary Committee. Florida's Ted Deutch shared the documents and pointed out the obvious failure of HHS' Office of Refugee Resettlement to keep children safe.
“These HHS documents detail a staggering number of sexual assaults on unaccompanied children in their custody,” said Deutch in a statement. “Clearly this administration is not equipped to keep these children safe inside their facilities.”
The newly public reports include 4,556 allegations of abuse reported to the ORR and 1,303 made to the Justice Department.
"These are vulnerable children in difficult circumstances, and ORR fully understands its responsibility to ensure that each child is treated with the utmost care," HHS spokesperson Caitlin Oakley said in a statement via BuzzFeed News. "When any allegations of abuse, sexual abuse, or neglect are made, they are taken seriously and ORR acts swiftly to investigate and respond.”
"We share the concern," Health and Human Services official Jonathan White said, per AP. "Any time a child is abused [...] is one time too many. We abide fully with the laws this Congress has passed, and we are very proud of our outstanding track record of full compliance including referring every allegation for investigation. The vast majority of investigations prove to be unsubstantiated."