EL PASO, Texas (Border Report) — Court documents show federal investigators are looking into a migrant girl’s allegations she was ‘beaten and abused” while detained at the Border Patrol station in Clint, Texas, NBC News reports.
According to the report, NBC News obtained documents provided to Congress by the Department of Homeland Security. They say U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Office of Professional Responsibility, the agency’s internal watchdog, is investigating allegations of abuse reported on March 12, 2019. Neither details about the incident nor the girl’s name and age are provided in the document, NBC News said.
On Thursday, the House Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on the Oversight of Family Separation and U.S. Customs and Border Protection Short-Term Custody under the Trump Administration. Democratic committee members are expected to ask about the Clint incident, NBC News reported. Officials from the Border Patrol, Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Justice are expected to testify Thursday.
The Washington Post last week reported that a U.S. Border Patrol agent who worked at the Clint station was accused of using Facebook Live to harass the mother of a 12-year-old migrant boy who was in custody. The mother, who lives in California, told the Post the agent sent her Facebook messages and asked her to watch a live video of him masturbating.
On July 1, migrants detained at a CBP detention facility in Northeast El Paso told U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez they were forced to drink from a toilet, the New York Democrat told reporters.
Ocasio-Cortez, U.S. Rep. Veronica Escobar (D-Texas) and other members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus led a delegation of lawmakers to several facilities used to detain migrants in the El Paso area.
“There’s abuse in this facility,” Ocasio-Cortez said after a tour of the facility. “This is (CBP) on their best behavior. And they put (detainees) in a room with no running water, and these women were being told by CBP officers to drink out of the toilet. They were drinking water out of the toilet and that was them knowing a congressional visit was coming. This is CBP on their best behavior.”
In a statement to KTSM, CBP officials reiterated that the agency takes allegations of mistreatment seriously.
“(CBP) reports all allegations to both the DHS Office of the Inspector General and the CBP Office of Professional Responsibility,” the CBP spokesman said. “Any employee found to have violated our standards of conduct will be held accountable.”
CBP officials also emphasized that the Border Patrol facilities are not designed for long-term detention.
As NBC News first reported, Aaron Hull, the chief of the Border Patrol’s El Paso Sector is being reassigned to Detroit, adding that the chief patrol agent of California’s El Centro Sector, Gloria Chavez, will replace him until further notice. The reason for Hull’s reassignment was not clear.