Church volunteers speak out on BP allegations

Church volunteers speak out on BP allegations

YUMA, Ariz. - Allegations involving alleged mistreatment of migrant children at the hands of Yuma Sector Border Patrol agents have sparked National headlines.

According to NBC News, multiple accounts they obtained from government case managers said the migrant children described poor conditions and overcrowding. 

Volunteers in San Luis, Ariz., that housed these migrants after being processed by Yuma Sector Border Patrol said the claims are similar to the ones they have heard.

Reports show the incidents allegedly happened between April and June of this year.

A church volunteer from St.Jude Catholic Church said, " For the little kids they are given a juice and then a cookie and when they sleep they are given a foil blanket," said Ramona Zarrota.

Advocacy Attorney for Florence Immigrant Refugee Project Laura Beloud, who helps provide legal services to migrant children at the Yuma Sector also confirms these claims.

For one of my clients, they never turned off the lights so he didn’t know if it was day or night, he was held in a room with over 100 other children with only two bathrooms for that group," said Belous.

According to Belous, she describes one of her clients alleged received misconduct by an agent.

Belous said, "In order to make room, he described an agent went into the cell and kicked children who were sleeping on the ground awake that way they make room so to sleep sitting up. 

Belous stated her group is horrified by the alleged conditions in the detention centers, adding that her client said agents would make fun of them, such as "They are here to ruin our country"

Church volunteer Zarrota said a priest described nights spent in freezing cells with his little girl. He would protect his little girl by holding her up at her chest with their own clothing so she won’t get sick such as a cough or pneumonia," said Zarrota. Adding that some of the food given to them was expired.

News 11 reached out to U.S. Customs and Border Protection for a statement where they said, "treats those in our custody with dignity and respect and provides multiple avenues to report any allegations of misconduct. The allegations do not align with common practice at our facilities and will be fully investigated. The allegation of sexual assault is already under investigation by the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General.


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