From Liberations News:
Caleb Granger January 11, 2021
According to a complaint filed in August with the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General by a Texas-based advocacy group, guards in an Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention center in El Paso, Tex., have been sexually assaulting detainees and intimidating them from coming forward. This is part of a larger pattern and practice of abuse in immigration detention centers throughout the state of Texas. Meanwhile, the federal government has done nothing to prevent the sexual assault of those detained and is not providing victims with the support services that are required by law.
Sexual assault and abuse common in Texas detention
According to an undocumented woman who was detained in an El Paso ICE detention facility, several of the guards where she was being held assaulted her on different occasions. They deliberately chose a spot between the medical facility and her barrack to attack her because of its lack of visibility on security cameras. The 35-year-old mother, who faced deportation to Mexico the very next week, was told by one of her abusers that if she told anyone about the assault, she wouldn’t be believed because her abuser was a high-ranking officer and there was no existing video footage to prove her claim.
In a telephone interview with ProPublica, the woman expressed that she would rather be deported to Mexico than spend another day in the torturous conditions of the ICE detention center. She was terrified of being targeted by the guards for coming forward about the abuse. “It’s going to get worse now,” she said. “I can’t handle it anymore.” Her deportation, however, meant that future investigators would be deprived of a key witness to the guards’ abuse.