Sexual Assault Inside ICE Detention: 2 Survivors Tell Their Stories | Times Documentaries


“He was 42 years old,
married, white guard. She’s a 19-year-old asylum
seeker with a 3-year-old.” In 2014, E.D. and her son
awaited asylum at Berks, a family detention
facility contracted by the U.S. Immigration
and Customs Enforcement agency, known as ICE. “Her life experience
is one in Honduras of being brutally beaten
and raped by her partner. But she was also in this
Berks County facility that is purported to provide a
safe space for these families while they go through the
immigration process.” “He had been giving them favors,
given her little boy toys and candy. And he had told her that,
you know, he could help her out and that he was friends
with the deportation officer.” “I did have
feelings for her. I mean,
I liked her. I wasn’t having — my home
life wasn’t as great, so it was nice to have
somebody, you know, that would give me attention.” Early on, Sharkey
told his supervisors that E.D. was
flirting with him. According to case
records, instead of transferring
Sharkey, the supervisor told him to keep his distance
and immediately report if anything else transpired. “It was a friendly
relationship at that time. That’s how it was. And then it just kind of
snowballed from there.” “Me being in a power position,
and her being kind of like, you know, being
a resident there, she was never —
I mean — I never threatened her
or anything like that. I never said any
of those words to her to make her,
make her think that.” “This is a hallway
that everyone walks by. Guards walk by. It’s by the
administrative wing. What we found out through
the words of Daniel Sharkey is they all knew.” Another detainee also knew. According to her
deposition, Sharkey asked her to keep watch and
propositioned her for sex. Like E.D., several
thousand immigrants have claimed sexual
abuse in detention over the last decade. Currently, there are
nearly 42,000 immigrants in detention
on any given day. President Trump has
already proposed expanding detention capacity
for 2019, a plan that could lead to a 50 percent
increase of the daily population since he took office. His new executive order
ends family separation, but expands family
detention, leading to an even larger
population of immigrants held in federal custody. “Any time you have a
particularly vulnerable population being detained in
a confined space, that creates a potential for abuse.” “Many of these
women have never been in
a detention facility. They didn’t
commit a crime. This is all new,
to be in a facility where they’re actually
treated as a prisoner.” “In the case of
women, the majority of those in immigration
detention are seeking asylum, and, in fact, are usually
fleeing violence.” Ultimately, it was an
8-year-old girl’s eyewitness account that led to
an investigation. Sharkey was fired from Berks. He later pleaded guilty to
institutional sexual assault. “I do not believe there’s
a culture of abuse. For the past six years,
it’s been less than 1 percent of our population has
reported an incident.” ICE recorded over 1,300
allegations of sexual abuse and sexual assault
against detainees from fiscal years
2013 through 2017. Of these cases, ICE deemed
more than half of them inconclusive. “Well, it’s certainly not
in their self-interest to have cases of sexual abuse
and assault confirmed.” Kevin Landy ran the office
responsible for reforming ICE’s policies on sexual
abuse under President Obama. That office was closed
on the second day of the Trump Administration. ICE says the personnel
from that office were incorporated
under another division. “Written policies
that the agency has on responding to allegations
of sexual abuse and assault are very comprehensive. But the reality on the ground
is that there are still some serious flaws
and challenges in how those policies
are being implemented.” There’s a network of
over 200 facilities that ICE currently uses
to detain immigrants. These range from facilities
run by private prison companies dedicated
exclusively to immigration detention,
to federal prisons and contracted
county jails that host both inmates and
immigrant detainees. “The investigations that
ICE has in place right now to keep tabs on all of the
many facilities it oversees are not adequate. It’s often like — almost
like a rubber stamp. You see facilities
passing their inspections with flying colors
year in and year out.” Megan Mack was tasked with
investigating complaints and filing reports on
abuses for all of D.H.S., including ICE, under the
Obama Administration. “Often we would
go to a facility and do an investigation,
and then years would go by without the
complaints being addressed.” Maria sought asylum
in the United States after fleeing
violence in Guatemala. She spent over a month in an
immigration detention center. She was permitted to
leave the facility in 2010 while her case was pending. The man Maria is referring
to is Donald Dunn. He was a guard at the
T. Don Hutto Residential Center in Texas, where
Maria was held. One of Dunn’s jobs was
to transport detainees. “When he let her out of the
van at the Austin airport, she ran. The guard there at the airport
asked her what was wrong and she immediately told
him what had happened.” ICE policy mandates
that detainees be transferred with at least
one guard of the same sex. But according to case records,
Hutto violated that order 77 times in less
than a year, allowing male guards, including Dunn,
to transport women alone. Ultimately, eight women
testified in a civil suit. “Probably there
were many more, because these were the women
who could be tracked down and who were
willing to speak.” Donald Dunn served
less than two years on charges arising from his
assault on multiple women. The Hutto detention
center has recently been investigated by
the F.B.I. for other claims of sexual abuse
committed by guards. And in June, a civil rights
group lodged new complaints accusing guards
of masturbating in front of female detainees
and forcing them into sex acts. Immigrant detention
in all its forms is expanding under the
Trump Administration. ICE is looking into options
for an additional 15,000 beds to detain parents
and their children. Families aside, Trump’s
“zero-tolerance policy” has taxed an already
overwhelmed system. As policies
continue to change, and the administration
faces legal obstacles, the path forward is unclear. Meanwhile, those in detention
remain vulnerable to abuse.

65 thoughts on “Sexual Assault Inside ICE Detention: 2 Survivors Tell Their Stories | Times Documentaries

  1. I would bet absolutely anything that there is a ton of sexual abuse inside these ICE detention facilities. My heart goes out to these women.

  2. You should be ashamed to be using these people as political pawns. Obviously you don’t care about them until you can use their story to suit your political agenda.

  3. In every grain is weed, sadly we cant root it out but it is our duty to point it out and try to do our best to eradicate it!Sexual exploitation coming from ppl in power over others should be punished harshly! Punishments should be so severe that everyone with bad intentions would consider twice before exploiting and abuse powerless person! I strongly condemn such behavior and i pray to god that such situations doesn't happen as frequently. My heart goes out to victims and their close ones.The damage attacker does can leave scars for life time and punishment should be equally proportional.Please spread awareness,ty !!

  4. “When the President does it , that means that it is not illegal.”
    -Richard M. Nixon
    Well, we know how that turned out.

  5. Unless they have video on you, what a law enforcement officer writes on the report is what will be taken into account. Many monsters use a badge as camouflage to prey on those they see fit.

  6. Americans are predators and a unfortunate large number of them either support pedophiles or turn their heads to it. Is this surprising… no. Should we really be angry and upset about it… yes but evil doesn’t change.

  7. Stop the institutional human traffic sponsors by American tax payer money. SHAME. Free the children and their families now.

  8. Wow, power corrupts 🤔😔 He’s only American, and is doing what Americans do! Exploit people without guns!

  9. F**k nyt…your mother****ing agenda will never win….Mr trump deport them all I mean all illegal alien with their children no matter if they are born here they still are illegals but before deporting illegals take back all the money which we spend on them and build the wall by that money and also make it really hard for illegals to cross border… and also give them severe punishments if anyone try to cross border illegally….do it mr trump GOD bless you Mr trump

  10. This is why I was SO upset about family separation…the children had no one to protect them from physical and/or sexual abuse.
    I'm still concerned about the government being unable to reunite families. Are the children dead or victims of child trafficking?
    No one has been allowed to do unannounced inspections of areas where children are held. Why?

  11. Just lovely. Take advantage of the weak who have already been abused and are trying to flee that violence. Just Horrible!

  12. ICE is the golden tool of many KKK and White Supremacist. Just look up 'Fake ICE agents'. May God destroy it and deliver Karma to all these manipulators.

  13. I knew this was an unfortunate reality and my fear is that this is also going on in the ice detention centers where children are held. It’s extremely heartbreaking…..

  14. They mention Trump but this happened in 2014. Attack the problem for what it is rather than fitting it into a political agenda.

  15. President Obama how could you allow this to happen? If only we could deport them quicker so they wouldn't be exposed to these conditions. Better yet, hold asylum seekers at the border until the asylum hearing is conducted. Liberals should disgusted with themselves letting this happen to these poor woman.

  16. This organization should not survive the year. If it does, there's something seriously wrong with this country's values.

    It's been a blight for fifteen years. That's long enough.

  17. It's a problem only when it's disproportionate. Otherwise it's called "area for improvement." So the question is, is it disproportionate? Is the amount of people sexually abused by all law enforcement "under one percent"?

  18. NYT is a liberal channel. They ONLY upload liberal propaganda and issues. They never once uploaded anything the far left does like ANTIFA being violent at school campuses against conservative speakers and the crimes of Black Lives Matter against cops.

    For this video, they don't care about these people unless it helps them pursue their political agenda to make ICE look as sinful as they can to achieve their goal of allowing all immigration in the country illegal or not. They're virtue signaling. NYT is not unbiased.

    NYT is actually okay with antifa's actions. Source: https://youtu.be/oliMbndAN18

  19. Regardless of whose in leadership, inhumanity is inhumanity. Abuse of asylum seekers wasn’t right then and it isn’t right now.

  20. A system of sexual abuse and assault in detention centres that hold people fleeing violence and have no criminal history. There is obviously more cases because some victims will believe there is a culture of abuse and so will not come forward to the appropriate people for the fear of being sent back to the violence they fled and the distrust of the entire detention system.

  21. The mexican need come together we're under a silent attack they want to wipe us out like they did the Native Americans because we will fight and not give in

  22. I am deeply ashamed of my country's actions under this administration. Tears flow from the Virgin Mother and the Statue of Liberty. Now we are like Libya! human detention centers of horror. Thanks red states.

  23. Don't break the law and you won't get sexually abused. Simple. Next time come into the country legally and get a job, you filthy motel cleaner/orange picker.

  24. More propaganda to make the stupid, sheepish public feel sorry for these law breaking economic immigrants.

  25. These ICE officers really have no problem raping do they. They also are reported to have a high incident of sexual assault on the infants and female toddlers. This, according to a whistleblower.

  26. I knew this would happen. Anywhere in the world you separate women from their men, and the captors will take sexual advantage of women and girls. Disgusting.

  27. There is a huge amount of rapes when women try to cross illegally. Almost all of these rapes are done by the illegal traffickers not officers from ICE. Maybe you should mention that instead of a single case.

  28. These abuses against those women are criminal acts too, we can pay for a crime with a crime, detain them but do not abuse them, this is America!

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