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NBC News first reported on one of the dire ICE treatments of migrant children last year. Photo: Getty Images
NBC News first reported on one of the dire ICE treatments of migrant children last year. Photo: Getty Images

New DHS investigation exposes extent of cruelty suffered by immigrant children separated from their families

Between illegal sound devices and hourly lockdowns in a van, a new investigation has  revealed grim details of the government's "zero tolerance" immigration…

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Hidden in the jungle

May 26th, 2022

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NBC News first reported on one of the dire ICE treatments of migrant children last year. They had been separated from their families and were left waiting in vans for hours, some even overnight while waiting to be reunited with their guardians.

Now, a recent report coming from the Office of the Inspector General of the Department of Homeland Security confirms what the journalists had unveiled.

In 2018, the same investigation from NBC also uncovered children left in a parking lot waiting for their parents. This happened at an Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention facility in Port Isabel, Texas. 

These children were part of the more than 2,800 that were reunified with their parents after the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” policy in May of 2018. They only got the treatment after a federal judge ordered their reunification, and those children saw their parents again. 

The inspector general’s report was published on Aug. 19 and only began after several members of Congress saw the NBC News report and started demanding answers. 

In total, it reported that 73 migrant children were left waiting anywhere from 10 to 41 hours before seeing their parents again, who were being held inside the Port Isabel facility. 

An unjustified wait

The report said the wait was attributed to ICE and the HHS Office of Refugee Settlement “fundamentally different understandings about the timing and pace of reunifications.” 

However, ICE responded to the inspector general, saying: “it remains committed to ensuring the appropriate care of all individuals in its custody.”

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