Saturday, July 28, 2018

The Weak And Vulnerable Always Get Preyed On... First


Not every child molester is a wresting coach or a Republican legislator. Yesterday, Michael Graball and Topher Sanders reported for ProPublica that the ICE prisons (redubbed "immigrant youth shelters") Trump is sending children, are a "gold mine" for predators. Are they sending Jim Jordan (R-OH) down to investigate? The way Trump's Gestapo (ICE) has kidnapped children and now unable to reunited them with their families is a human rights crime... and one of the most horrible things Americans have ever done to Americans, at least in my lifetime. And now we find out the the shelters-- which hold around 10,000 kids on any given day-- are being used as rape rooms by the Trump Gestapo.
Just five days after he reached the United States, the 15-year-old Honduran boy awoke in his Tucson, Arizona, immigrant shelter one morning in 2015 to find a youth care worker in his room, tickling his chest and stomach.

When he asked the man, who was 46, what he was doing, the man left. But he returned two more times, rubbing the teen’s penis through his clothing and then trying to reach under his boxers. “I know what you want, I can give you anything you need,” said the worker, who was later convicted of molestation.

In 2017, a 17-year-old from Honduras was recovering from surgery at the shelter when he woke up to find a male staff member standing by his bed. “You have it very big,” the man said, referring to the teen’s penis. Days later, that same employee brushed the teen with his hand while he was playing video games. When the staff member approached him again, the boy locked himself in a bathroom.

And in January of this year, a security guard at the shelter found notes in a minor’s jacket that suggested an inappropriate relationship with a staff member.

Pulled from police reports, incidents like these at Southwest Key’s Tucson shelter 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.

...[I]mmigrant advocates, psychologists and officials who formerly oversaw the shelters say the Trump administration’s harsh new policies have only increased pressures on the facilities, which often are hard-pressed to provide adequate staffing for kids who suffer from untold traumas and who now exist in a legal limbo that could shape the rest of their lives.

“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.”

Southwest Key wouldn’t discuss specific incidents, but said in a statement that the company has a strict policy on abuse and neglect and takes every allegation seriously. HHS declined ProPublica’s requests to interview the refugee resettlement program’s director, Scott Lloyd. The agency released a statement saying it “treats its responsibility for each child with the utmost care” and has a “zero-tolerance policy for all forms of sexual abuse or inappropriate behavior” at the shelters.

...The reports also reveal dozens of incidents of unwanted groping and indecent exposure among children and teenagers at the facilities. Some kids fleeing threats and violence in their home countries arrived in the United States only to be placed in shelters where they faced similar dangers. In March, a 15-year-old boy at the Southwest Key shelter in Tucson reported that his roommate lifted up his legs as he was trying to go to sleep, made thrusting motions and said, “I’m going rape you.” And in late 2016, a 15-year-old at KidsPeace told police that another boy there had been forcing him to have oral sex. After an investigation, one teen was transferred to a more secure facility. (KidsPeace said it wouldn’t discuss specific information about kids in its care.)

While it’s difficult to get a complete count, the police reports show that children go missing or run away from the shelters roughly once a week. Several shelters, including Southwest Key's Tucson facility, have seen a significant increase in missing person and runaway calls since the start of 2018. St. PJ’s Children’s Home in San Antonio, which primarily cares for immigrant children, has had 26 such calls in the first half of the year, records show, compared to 14 for all of last year and nine for 2016.

...Many children have experienced traumatic events in their home countries, are desperate for stability after the long journey, and have little understanding of American laws-- all things that make them particularly vulnerable.

“When a perpetrator is trying to pick a victim they’re picking somebody that they think is less likely to report the abuse,” Chavez-Dueñas said. “Children and youth that are coming from outside of the country, that have no legal status here, that don’t speak English, that don’t have access to lawyers or people who can protect them-- they already might think they’re not going to be believed.”

In the back of their minds, she said, is the fear that speaking up could ultimately hurt their immigration case.

The worker who was convicted of molesting the boy in Tucson isn’t the only shelter employee to face criminal charges. Last year, according to court records, a youth care worker at a Homestead, Florida, shelter was sentenced to 10 years in prison after she sent nude photos of herself to a 15-year-old boy who had recently left the shelter and asked him for sex. In 2012, a case manager at a Fullerton, California, shelter was convicted of molesting several teenage boys when they went into his office for regular calls with family, court records show.

...At a Southwest Key shelter in Conroe, Texas, in May, a boy told a youth care worker that his mental health counselor brushed his shoulders, rubbed his arm and caressed his face while continually peeking out of the office’s blinds “as if he was checking to see if someone was coming.” The counselor began to unbuckle his own pants, but stopped, the police report said.

The boy later repeated the story to a state child welfare worker. The counselor was suspended during the investigation. But a more formal forensic interview didn’t take place until six days after the incident.

At that point, the police report said, the boy “made no outcry regarding any criminal offense” and the case was closed.

Waiting six days for a forensic interview is not on its face unusual, said David Palmiter, a psychology professor at Marywood University who has conducted forensic interviews of abused children. But he noted that the interview should be done sooner rather than later.

“Everything from legitimate confusion to some calculation of what the consequences could be or whether they would please or hurt the adults around them could impact the child,” he said. “There could be any number of reasons why the story changes.”

A large part of the current pressure on the shelters stems from a series of changes made by the Trump administration in how it handles unaccompanied minors, immigrant advocates say.

As part of an information-sharing agreement, the ORR is now required to provide Immigration and Customs Enforcement with potential sponsors’ names, dates of birth, addresses and fingerprints so that ICE can pull criminal and immigration history information on the sponsor, usually a family member, and all adult members of the sponsor’s household.

Officials say the vetting is being done to protect children. In one case a few years ago, the agency unintentionally turned teenagers over to a smuggling network that forced them to work on an egg farm to pay off their debts.

But immigrant advocates say the policy is deterring family members who are often undocumented from coming forward, leaving children to languish in shelters where they may become increasingly desperate.
Why did people work for Hitler's Nazi regime? Why do people work for Trump's? The people at the top can't do much without people at every level helping them. Can they? Just say NO. Tell your children to just say NO... even if the pay is good.

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At 5:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Get it right, Howie. You are not quoting Cicero with that comment, but a more modern author:

It turns out that the quote is a misquote contained in a novel about Cicero written by Taylor Caldwell:

"A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murderer is less to be feared. The traitor is the carrier of the plague. You have unbarred the gates of Rome to him."

Taylor Caldwell in her novel based on the life of Cicero, A Pillar of Iron (1965), p. 661 in Open Road Media; Reprint edition (September 26, 2017).

This passage is also quoted in a speech given by Florida Governor and State Supreme Court Justice Millar F. Caldwell in 1965. a 1965 essay by Justice Millard Caldwell
The paraphrase may ultimately be from the Second Catiline Oration but drastically changes the rhetoric.

Actual example from Second Catiline Oration: "But why are we speaking so long about one enemy; and about that enemy who now avows that he is one; and whom I now do not fear, because, as I have always wished, a wall is between us; and are saying nothing about those who dissemble, who remain at Rome, who are among us?".


At 5:37 PM, Blogger Gadfly said...

Per Anonymous, Cicero was a vainglorious bastard anyway, who may have acted extra-constitutionally vis a vis Cataline.

And, just a reminder that not just Republican legislators OR the jailers at ICE under a Republican president are child molesters. Don't forget good Democrat Roman Polanski.

At 6:38 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why do people work for Nazi regimes?

because people are evil motherfuckers.

At what point must you assume that zero principled people work for a Nazi regime? I'd say that we reached that point no later than when it was first exposed as kidnapping thousands of kids from their parents. Once that became public, everyone who still works for this admin is an evil motherfucker and should be so labeled for life.

In fact, everyone in ICE who has done this should be prosecuted for kidnapping and child abuse. EVERYONE.


I would also note that there are probably 80 million americans who would eagerly work for ICE.

All this says a lot about this shithole and its horrible denizens.


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