SAN DIEGO — An advocacy group said Tuesday that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's internal watchdog fielded more than 1,000 complaints of sexual assault or sexual abuse from people in custody in a little more than two years.
Community Initiatives for Visiting Immigrants in Confinement is the latest group in recent years to document allegations of abuse at immigration detention centers, based on information obtained from public records requests. It comes as President Donald Trump seeks to expand detention capacity in a drive to deport more people.
The numbers obtained by the group don't provide details on individual cases or a full accounting of how the complaints were addressed, but they suggest complaints are common.
Homeland Security inspector general's office disclosed that it received 1,016 complaints from detainees reporting sexual abuse or assault from May 2014 to July 2016. More than 90 percent involved Immigration and Customs Enforcement, an agency within Homeland Security that has more than 30,000 beds at detention facilities nationwide.
The inspector general received more than 33,000 allegations of a broader range of abuses from January 2010 to July 2016, including 702 for coerced sexual contact, 714 for physical or sexual abuse and 589 for sexual harassment, according to the group. The group's analysis showed the inspector general investigated 247, or less than 1 percent. But it was unclear how many others were taken up by agencies in the department, such as Immigration and Customs and Enforcement or Customs and Border Protection.