One of the most appalling and criminally under-covered aspects of the federal government’s decades-long campaign of repression and exploitation of undocumented immigrants is the epidemic of sexual assault inflicted upon them by law enforcement.
On Monday, a Sheriff’s deputy was charged with super-aggravated sexual assault against a four-year old child and blackmailing her mother with deportation in order to force her silence.
Detention officer Jose Nunez of Bexar County Sherrif’s office in Texas was arrested yesterday after the mother bravely went to a fire station for help.
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Sherrif Javier Salazar admitted the abuse likely went on for “years,” that there may be more victims out there, and that “this suspect utilized to his advantage to place the mother in fear that she would be deported if she did report it.”
This is only the latest in series of horrifying revelations about the assaults endured by innocent immigrants at the hands of their captors during both the Obama and the Trump administrations.
The Intercept reports that between 2010 and 2016, over 1,448 sexual assault complaints were reported to ICE’s inspector-general; only 43 were ever investigated. One shudders to think at how many went unreported.
“In the reports, detainees describe alleged assault and harassment ranging from brutal gang rape to sexually explicit verbal abuse. They also detail widespread institutional indifference, when not outright complicity, in response to that abuse.”
Undocumented migrant Laura Monterrosa recently tried to tell the world about her sexual assault at the hands of ICE agents, who promptly tortured her and subjected her to solitary confinement for speaking out.
In 2014, Border Patrol agent Esteban Manzanares discovered a mother and her children trying to cross the border. He raped the mother and the older daughter, slashed the mother’s wrists and tried to break the daughter’s neck. He then kidnapped the other daughter, took her home, tied her up, and sexually assaulted her before killing himself.
The constant dehumanization of immigrants coupled with putting them at the mercy of an agency that was founded on a mandate of soft ethnic cleansing has set them up for untold opportunities for abuse – opportunities their wardens have shown no remorse at taking.
These horrifying incidents are going to happen more and more unless we stop treating undocumented immigrants as less than people – which means we must stop calling them “illegals,” stop herding them into concentration camps like chattel, and stop trying to deport them for no reason whatsoever. They have every much a right to live in this country as anyone does.