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Study claims asylum seekers were verbally abused, not provided enough food

Posted: 4:25 PM, Aug 28, 2019
Updated: 2019-08-28 20:59:34-04
Migrants hopeful for asylum at US border

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - A new study released Wednesday by a University of California San Diego professor is making claims about inhumane treatment of asylum seekers in detention centers along the border.

"Over 1 out of every 3, or 34.7%, of the asylum-seeking heads of households reported issues related to conditions in immigration detention, treatment in detention, or medical issues," the report headed by Tom K. Wong, PhD, said. He is an Associate Professor of Political Science at UC San Diego.

The study was conducted from October 2018 through June of 2019, with 7,300 migrants.

Here are some of the findings:

  • Among those who reported issues in immigration detention, 61.8% reported issues related to food and water, including being fed frozen or spoiled food, not having enough to eat, not being given formula for infants, not being given water, and having to drink dirty water, among others;
  • Among those who reported issues in immigration detention, 34.5% reported issues related to hygiene, including not being able to shower, dirty bathrooms, and not having a toothbrush or toothpaste to brush their teeth, among others;
  • Among those who reported issues in immigration detention, 45.6% reported issues related to not being able to sleep, overcrowded conditions, confinement, and the temperature being too cold in la hielera (ice box);
  • 232 asylum-seeking heads of households reported verbal abuse, including being told “go back to your f****** country” and “you’re an ape,” among other examples;
  • 40 asylum-seeking heads of households reported physical abuse, including being thrown against a wall, among other examples; and
  • 18 asylum-seeking heads of households reported having their physical property taken, including their passports and travel documents, among other examples

Customs and Border Protection's Transport, Escort, Detention and Search (TEDS) Directive is outlined as follows:

  • "Regular hold room checks should be conducted and recorded to ensure proper occupancy levels, safety, hygiene, and the availability of drinking water. Such checks should be recorded in the appropriate electronic systems of record as soon as practicable."
  • "All facilities or hold rooms used to hold detainees must be regularly and professionally cleaned and sanitized. Officers/Agents or detainees will not be expected nor required to perform such tasks."
  • "Adult detainees, whether in a hold room or not, will be provided with food at regularly scheduled meal times. All meal service must be documented in the appropriate electronic system(s) of record."
  • "Adult detainees, whether in a hold room or not, will be provided with snacks between regularly scheduled meal times."

CBP stated multiple times over the past year they are overrun by the volume of migrants needing processing . They have asked Congress for help on numerous occasions.