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World & Nation

Data show nearly 5,000 allegations of sex abuse of migrant children in 4 years

New Tent Camps Go Up In West Texas For Migrant Children Separated From Parents
Children and workers at a tent encampment in Tornillo, Texas, in June.
(Joe Raedle / Getty Images)

The U.S. government says there were nearly 5,000 complaints of sexual abuse and harassment of migrant children in government-managed shelters over four years.

The allegations released Tuesday include inappropriate touching and showing pornographic videos.

Data from the Department of Health and Human Services include information from both the Obama and Trump administrations, from October 2015 through September.

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HHS manages the care of tens of thousands of migrant children, most of whom crossed the border alone. Children are placed in shelters until they can be released to sponsors, usually a parent or close relative. The shelters are privately run but contracted by the government.

Officials say most of the allegations haven’t been substantiated and are defending the care they provide to migrant children.


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