From: The Honorable Judy Chu
Sent By:
Date: 7/17/2014

Urge DHS to Investigate and Remedy the Systemic Problems of Mistreatment of Unaccompanied Children in CBP Custody

Current Cosigners: Reps. Chu, Roybal-Allard, Grijalva, Honda, McCollum, Hahn, Lee, Lowenthal, Napolitano, Clarke, James McGovern, Hank Johnson, Rangel, Schakowsky, Holmes Norton, Frankel    

DEADLINE: Friday, July 18th

Dear Colleague,

Please join us in urging the Homeland Security Secretary, Jeh Johnson, to investigate and remedy the systemic problems of abuse and mistreatment of unaccompanied minors while in the custody of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP).

The problem of abuse and mistreatment of unaccompanied minors is a continuing and growing problem.  Most recently, a complaint was filed by five legal groups on behalf of 116 unaccompanied immigrant children detailed allegations of abuse and mistreatment while in CBP custody. The complaint alleges egregious acts of physical, sexual, mental and emotional abuse and serious medical neglect.  In light of the increasing number of unaccompanied children crossing the border, we believe it is imperative that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) fully address these systemic problems, and implement the reforms necessary to ensure CBP holding cells and treatment of unaccompanied children adheres to U.S. and international laws.

  Unfortunately, the mistreatment of children in CBP custody is not a new problem. For years, many immigration and civil rights organizations have documented civil rights violations by CBP officials, but complaints filed with DHS oversight bodies have been largely unsuccessful.  The American Immigration Council recently reported that between 2009 and 2012, 97% of the complaints that received a formal investigation resulted in no action, and many of the remaining complaints were not appropriately investigated.

We hope that you will join us in urging Secretary Johnson to investigate, address, and remedy the systemic problems of abuse and mistreatment of these unaccompanied children.  The full text of the letter is below.  For more information or to sign the letter, please contact Joleen Rivera in Rep. Chu’s office or Matt Lee in Rep. Roybal-Allard’s office


Judy Chu                                 Lucille Roybal-Allard

Member of Congress               Member of Congress