6-Year-Old Immigrant Sexually Abused In Detention Facility, Told It Was Her Responsibility To Avoid Her Abuser

The girl and her mother crossed the U.S. border legally at a designated checkpoint, but were still separated under Trump's zero tolerance policy.

6-Year-Old Immigrant Sexually Abused In Detention Facility, Told It Was Her Responsibility To Avoid Her Abuser
U.S. Customs And Border Protection's Rio Grande Valley Sector / AP Images

The girl and her mother crossed the U.S. border legally at a designated checkpoint, but were still separated under Trump's zero tolerance policy.

A 6-year-old immigrant taken from her parents and sent to a detention center as part of Donald Trump’s zero tolerance policy was reportedly sexually abused while in the facility — and then forced to sign a statement saying it was her responsibility to keep her distance from her alleged abuser.

The incident happened at a facility in Arizona and the girl was identified only by the initials D.L. The Nation obtained an incident report about the young girl’s abuse, which showed that she and her mother actually entered the United States legally at an entry point in El Paso, Texas, back in May. The pair had paperwork claiming they had a “credible fear” of gang violence in their native Guatemala, but government officials still separated the pair and sent the young girl to a detention center near Phoenix.

The girl’s father, an undocumented immigrant, had already been living in the United States, the report noted. He received a phone call from officials at the Phoenix facility in June saying another boy in the facility had molested his daughter and other girls.

Officials assured the father that they had changed protocol and that the girl would not be abused again, but documents obtained by The Nation showed that the girl was made to sign a form that claimed “that it is my responsibility to follow the safety plan” officials had determined.

This is one of more than 1,000 of cases of alleged sexual abuse in immigrant detention facilities over the last four years, as the Inquisitr has reported. Between 2013 and 2017, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement reported 1,310 claims of sexual abuse of individuals in the agency’s custody.

For the 6-year-old girl allegedly molested in the Arizona facility, the trauma did not end after first incident. Several weeks later, her father received another phone call saying the same boy once again molested his daughter.

Donald Trump ultimately reversed the family separation policy amid a massive international outcry, and a judge ordered that all children separated from their parents be reunited. The administration has missed the deadline for all of the youngest children to be reunited, and said in some cases that their parents had already been deported so there was no reunion possible.

The 6-year-old girl allegedly molested at the Arizona facility was eventually reunited with her mother several weeks after her abuse. Her mother said the young girl was traumatized and didn’t recognize her own mother, thinking she was another social worker. The girl was made to think she would never see her family again, the report noted.