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Complaints allege abuse at US immigration lockup

/ 07:15 AM October 03, 2014
In this Sept. 10, 2014 file photo, detained immigrant children line up in the cafeteria at the  Karnes County Residential Center,  a temporary home for immigrant women and children detained at the border, in Karnes City, Texas. AP

In this Sept. 10, 2014 file photo, detained immigrant children line up in the cafeteria at the Karnes County Residential Center, a temporary home for immigrant women and children detained at the border, in Karnes City, Texas. AP

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Attorneys have filed complaints with federal immigration officials alleging sexual abuse and harassment at a Texas immigration lockup that houses women and their children.

Lawyers with the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund and the University of Texas Law School are representing immigrants who were held at the 500-plus-bed facility in Karnes City, which was converted from an all-male detention center Aug. 1.

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Attorneys say women were removed from their cells at night to have sex with guards and staff. They also allege detainees were promised money or legal help in exchange for sexual favors.

The attorneys filed a complaint with Immigration and Customs Enforcement on Sept. 25 and the Department of Homeland Security on Tuesday.

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A DHS spokeswoman says the agency plans to issue a statement Thursday.

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TAGS: abuse of undocumented immigrants, Department of Homeland Security, Human rights, immigrant rights, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, University of Texas Law School
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