Judicial Watch released 224 pages of documents containing nearly 1,000 summaries of Significant Incident Reports (SIRs) from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) revealing that “Unaccompanied Alien Children” (UAC) processed during the Obama administration included admitted murderers, rapists, drug smugglers, prostitutes, and human traffickers. The documents, from the HHS Administration for Children and Families reported to the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR), are for the approximate six-month period May to November 2014. They were produced to Judicial Watch after a three-year delay in response to a November 12, 2014, Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request seeking:
1. Any and all Significant Incident Reports (“SIRs”) and SIR Addenda, including but not limited to, Medical SIRs (both Emergency and Non-Emergency) and Medical SIR Addenda, submitted to the Office of Refugee Resettlement (“ORR”) for Unaccompanied Alien Children (“UACs”) from May 1, 2014 to the present.
To the extent any information may be contained in the SIRs or SIR Addenda that is considered exempt from disclosure under 5 (U.S.C. § 552(b)(6), all non-exempt, segregable portions of the reports should be provided.
2. Any and all summary reports, which are derived from or based upon data contained in the SIRs, including daily, weekly, monthly or year-to-date reports, that were prepared by, provided to or are in the possession of the ORR.
The resulting documents show that, in fiscal year 2014, there were 24,680 Significant Incident Reports filed with Office of Refugee Resettlement.
Examples of incident reports below are organized into four general categories:
- UACs admitting to murder, belonging to MS-13, threatening others with rape, admitting to drug smuggling, molesting other UACs and seriously assaulting other UACs or staff;
- UACs who were raped and/or molested en route to the United States or in the United States;
- U.S. Government contractors and employees allegedly assaulting or having sexual relationships with UACs; and
- Other incidents, crimes, abuse and self-harm.
Examples of UACs admitting to murder, belonging to MS-13, threatening others with rape, admitting to drug smuggling, molesting other UACs and seriously assaulting other UACs or staff include:
- A male UAC at a BCFS shelter in Fairfield, CA admitted that he was “forced to kill” while working for the Gulf Cartel in Mexico
- A male UAC being cared for at the Heartland International RC Facility reported that he had been an MS-13 gang member for a year before coming to the U.S.
- A male UAC cared for at the Heartland ICRC (International Committee of the Red Cross) facility reported to staff that he had been “made to” kill three people by a drug cartel.
- A male UAC housed at the KidsPeace shelter (apparently a reference to the KidsPeace facility in Bethlehem, PA) reportedly told another male UAC there: “I am a rapist. I am going to rape you.”
- A UAC at Morrison Paso (Morrison Child and Family Services Center – Paso Secure in Portland, OR) informed a Youth Care Worker (YCW) there that “all of the kids here at Paso are snorting white pills” and that “some residents had brought [the pills] into the facility” and “all the residents are snorting the white pills and at all the times of the day”
- A male UAC in the care of Heartland ICRC reported that he was an MS-13 gang member who had been selling drugs. He told social workers that “the reason the gang members made the kids use drugs was to get them addicted.”
- A female UAC at the Sandy Pines (Jupiter, FL) facility attacked a staff member with a chair after being told to stop inappropriate sexual behavior toward another female UAC. After being restrained, she threatened to stab an unidentified person with a knife she kept in her room. The report concludes by saying, “UAC will continue to work on identifying and implementing coping skills to manage her mood.”
- A male UAC at a Baptist Child and Family Services (BCFS) shelter in Baytown, TX said he’d worked as a human smuggler, charging $6,000-$8,000 per person he crossed into the United States
- A female UAC at the BCFS shelter in Lackland AFB was alleged by other UACs to be the daughter of a coyote (human smuggler) and reportedly was passing information to her father via telephone from the shelter
Examples of UACs who were raped and/or molested en route to the United States or in the United States include:
- A female UAC at St. PJ’s shelter in San Antonio reported that another female UAC attempted to molest her and four other female UACs, including trying to “put her hand between her legs.” The perpetrator was “redirected by staff”
- A female UAC at Southwest Key in Conroe, TX, reported she was repeatedly raped on her journey to the US resulting in her pregnancy and when picked up by U.S. Immigration, the guide claimed the UAC was his wife
- A male UAC being cared for at the Southwest Key Program Antigua facility admitted that he had been a human smuggler himself for the past two years, since the age of 13/14, and was “paid $100-$200 per person that he crossed over” into the U.S.
- A female UAC at Southwest Key El Presidente reported she was sexually molested by her guide throughout her journey to the U.S.
- A male AUC at the Morrison shelter in Portland admitted to being a drug smuggler and “line guard” for a drug cartel
- A male UAC at the Bethany Christian Service Shelter reported having been a drug smuggler for a Mexican cartel and making “18 or 19 trips since he started.” He also said that both his parents and his maternal uncle worked in drug smuggling as well, by welding secret drug storage compartments into vehicles and by transporting drug money
- A female UAC from the Shiloh RTC reported that the person who claimed to US authorities to be her grandmother in order to get the UAC into the US was not, in fact, her grandmother but had brought her into the U.S. from Honduras to make her work “as a prostitute”
- A male UAC at IES Driscoll claimed he was raped by another male UAC while in the custody of U.S. Border Patrol but claimed he didn’t report it because he was “told by border patrol not to ask so many questions or talk”
Reports Also Cite Incidents of U.S. Government Contractors/Employees Allegedly Assaulting Unaccompanied Alien Children.
Examples of U.S. Government contractors and employees allegedly abusing, assaulting or having sexual relationships with Unaccompanied Alien Children (UACs) include the following:
- A male UAC claimed a female teacher at Southwest Key shelter in Phoenix “seductively” massaged his leg, lay in his bed with him and exposed her genital area to him
- A female UAC at a Boystown shelter claimed she had been raped by English-speaking men after being taken into custody by U.S. immigration officials and being transported to a shelter
- A female UAC claimed that while at a Southwest Key shelter in Ventura County, CA, she and a group of other female UACs had been awakened early by staff members, taken outside and “wetted” [a slang term referring to vaginal touching] by staffers who told her it was a “normal activity”
- A female UAC reported an allegation of abuse by program staff at Sandy Pines [Residential Treatment Center, Jupiter, FL], claiming she had been in a “girlfriend relationship” with a female staff member
- A female UAC in the Bokenkamp facility reported that an immigration officer put “his hand in between the pants and stomach of another female minor.” She also claimed a few days later that the officer “touched her thigh in an inappropriate manner.”
- A 17-year-old male UAC in the Baptist Family and Children Services, San Antonio, TX, reported he was “in a relationship,” begun while he was a minor, with a 24-year-old staff member at IES Driscoll.
- A male UAC at IES Driscoll reported a “childcare worker who had been passing letters to him as well as having conversations” which made him believe the childcare worker “wanted to have sex with him.” The childcare worker reportedly made statements like “Let’s go to the bathroom; Let’s go to the house alone; He wants to suck it; I love you very much…. Really I do.” He also reported he was promised a $200 bracelet.
- A male UAC at the Baptist Family and Children Services Shelter in Fairfield, TX, told a staff member that when he was residing at the Union County facility (likely in New Jersey), “officers verbally abused the minors and encouraged them to fight whenever there were disagreements.” When a fight would break out, “staff would make bets and provide the ‘winner’ with outside food.”
- A male UAC at St. PJ’s Surge (apparently St. PJ’s Children’s Home in San Antonio) reported that he “had a relationship outside of boundaries” with “a program staff member at the facility where he was previously, Lackland AFB.”
- A male UAC at the Southwest Key Program Combes facility in Harlingen, TX, reported an allegation that a “Youth Care Worker” (YCW) there and a UAC were involved in an inappropriate relationship. He said that “he saw [redacted] crying and staff [redacted] hugging him” and overheard a conversation between the unidentified staff worker and the UAC, in which one of them said “this is not right between us.” The reporting UAC advised that other UACs were also aware of the relationship.
- A male UAC at the Southwest Key- Nueva Esperanza facility said that he’d had an “inappropriate relationship” with a female Youth Care Worker (YCW) at the Southwest Key-Casa Blanca shelter in San Antonio, including “physical contact at shelter”. The shelter staff member continued to “maintain contact” with the UAC after he left the shelter and had been to the UAC’s brother’s home in San Antonio.
- A male UAC at Catholic Charities in Houston claimed that his sponsor tried to force him to smoke pot, drink alcohol and snort cocaine
Other incidents include:
- A male UAC at a Friends of Youth facility asked a staffer that he be “put on soap restriction” because he “has snorted soap on 4 occasions”
- Social workers reported that a “sponsor’ of two UACs “might have provided false information to the IRS for unknown reasons”, and specifically, “included two Social Security numbers on her tax return”
- A female UAC was given an abortion on October 14, 2014. The pregnancy reportedly was a result of rape during her journey, which was previously reported in August. (The federal government’s facilitating an abortion might have violated federal law.)
“The Obama administration presided over a humanitarian and public safety nightmare in its handling of ‘unaccompanied alien children,’” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “The incident reports also support the Trump administration’s contention that the UAC crisis, which continues, includes murderers, rapists, drug smugglers and human traffickers being routinely allowed into the United States.”
Judicial Watch began investigating this matter in 2014 when a wave of “Unaccompanied Alien Children” swamped the southwest border. At that time, the controversial HHS contract with Baptist Children and Family Services to provide shelter to children at two military facilities came to light. Through that investigation, Judicial Watch learned that BCFS was providing consumer electronics as “essential” items to the children. Since that time, Judicial Watch has been investigating incidents of violence, drug trafficking, human trafficking, and other criminal activities, as well as whether innocent children were being abused while in U.S. shelters.