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Tue. Jun 18th, 2019

Allegations of Abuse at Chicago Detention Center

Illinois state officials are investigating the nonprofit Heartland Alliance over allegations that the immigrant children in their custody suffered abuse and neglect.

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Two young girls watch a World Cup soccer match on a television from their holding area where hundreds of mostly Central American immigrant children are being processed and held at the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Nogales Placement Center on Wednesday, June 18, 2014, in Nogales, Ariz. CPB provided media tours Wednesday of two locations in Brownsville, Texas, and Nogales, that have been central to processing the more than 47,000 unaccompanied children who have entered the country illegally since Oct. 1. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, Pool)

Illinois state officials are investigating the nonprofit Heartland Alliance over allegations that the immigrant children in their custody suffered abuse and neglect.

The nonprofit, which claims to be “ending poverty,” is accused of injecting at least one child with a drug that made him sleepy, denying another child medication after breaking his arm, and preventing children from hugging their siblings.

This news comes as the administration has announced that it cannot locate the parents of at least 71 children who were forcibly separated at the U.S.-Mexico border.

The accusations originally appeared in a report published by the Washington Post this past Sunday.

Children at the detention center say that they were told hidden security cameras had been placed throughout the facility to catch bad behavior, rendering the children utterly terrified of making a mistake.

A 9-year-old boy from Brazil reported that employees told him he would remain at the facility until he was 18 if he failed to wake up on time.

“The article includes on-the-record accounts from numerous children, including some as young as 9 years old, who are alleging physical and emotional abuse while in the care of Heartland.”  — Durbin

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Office of Inspector General is investigating the accusations at Durbin’s request.

“I know that there’s going to be an investigation to look into this. But I don’t want to lose sight that we would not be in this situation if President Trump had not instituted what is, quote unquote, the ‘zero tolerance policy.’ You would not be asking this question.”  — Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel

All this comes as the administration approaches the July 26 court-mandated deadline to reunite all immigrant children with their parents.

Iron Triangle Press will continue to follow this story.

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