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Congressional Hispanic Caucus Chair Statement on Special Monitor to Oversee Detention Facilities

Jul 28, 2018
Press Release

Washington, DC – Today, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) Chair Michelle Lujan Grisham (NM-01) issued the following statement following a federal judge’s decision to appoint a special monitor to oversee conditions for detained migrant children:

“U.S. District Judge Dolly Gee’s decision to appoint an independent monitor is a step in the right direction in holding the government accountable and ensuring detention facilities and shelters are as safe as possible. An independent monitor’s oversight will provide unbiased reports on how children are being treated in detention facilities along the southern border and reassure the American public that the government is meeting its responsibilities.

“For far too long, these facilities have had little to no oversight and as a result there continues to be widespread and rampant reports of physical and sexual abuse toward detainees and children. It is unacceptable that these conditions have existed for years and under multiple administrations. However, President Trump’s cruel and ill-conceived family separation policy and elimination of the highly effective Family Case Management Program have resulted in more children, many tender-aged, being detained alone and susceptible to abuse. Yesterday, we heard disturbing reports of a separated six-year old child that was sexually abused twice while in government custody. We have a moral duty to protect vulnerable children.

“Congress must not remain idle as we continue to see reports of abuse in detention facilities and shelters. We must take swift action to conduct oversight and legislate necessary reforms to address ongoing abuse in these facilities. The CHC will use every tool and avenue, whether it is legal or legislative, to hold the Trump Administration accountable and protect and prevent the detainment of children.”

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The Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC), founded in December 1976, is organized as a Congressional Member organization, governed under the Rules of the U.S. House of Representatives. The CHC is dedicated to voicing and advancing, through the legislative process, issues affecting Hispanics in the United States, Puerto Rico and U.S. Territories.