The Trump administration’s immigrant youth shelters are a haven for child predators.
In the words of one person – If You’re a Predator, It’s a Gold Mine”
The revelations have come into the forefront after an investigative journalistic group, ProPublica, revealed them in a published report.
ProPublica is an independent, nonprofit newsroom that produces investigative journalism with moral force. “We dig deep into important issues, shining a light on abuses of power and betrayals of public trust — and we stick with those issues as long as it takes to hold power to account.”
With a team of more than 75 dedicated journalists, ProPublica covers a range of topics including government and politics, business, criminal justice, the environment, education, health care, immigration, and technology.
ProPublica obtained police reports and call logs concerning more than 70 of the approximately 100 immigrant youth shelters run by the U.S. Health and Human Services department’s Office of Refugee Resettlement.
While not a comprehensive assessment of the conditions at these shelters, the records challenge the Trump administration’s assertion that the shelters are safe havens for children. The reports document hundreds of allegations of sexual offenses, fights and missing children.
The youth shelters are once again in the public limelight after the Trump administration discontinued its policy of separating children from their parents.
These shelters have cared for thousands of immigrant children. Most of them are teenagers.
It is estimated that these shelters house around 10,000 adolescents.
Pulled from police reports, the ProPublica report provide a snapshot of what has largely been kept from the public as well as members of Congress — a view, uncolored by politics, of troubling incidents inside the facilities housing immigrant children.
“If you’re a predator, it’s a gold mine,” said Lisa Fortuna, director of child and adolescent psychiatry at Boston Medical Center. “You have full access and then you have kids that have already had this history of being victimized.”