KUNM

migrants

Ed Williams / KUNM

Thousands of people have come forward with complaints about sexual abuse inside immigration detention facilities—including children. But few have ever been investigated.

Now, organizations representing survivors are demanding that detention centers enforce federal laws against abuse of prisoners and stop separating families, which they say makes kids vulnerable to assault.

KUNM spoke with longtime advocate and attorney Claire Harwell of the New Mexico Coalition of Sexual Assault Programs. Harwell says asylum-seekers are often fleeing sexual violence in other countries before they’re locked up in U.S. facilities, where they may face the the same violence.

Bryce Dix/KUNM

Hundreds of protesters gathered Tuesday in downtown Albuquerque to demand an end to inhumane conditions in detention centers at the U.S.-Mexico border. It was part of a nationwide response to federal immigration policies that have separated family members, led to migrant deaths in detention and sought to limit who can seek asylum in the U.S.

Debbie Lockhart / U.S. Air Force/public domain

Let's Talk New Mexico 5/9 8a: Communities across New Mexico are stepping up to help migrants seeking asylum in the U.S. What kinds of assistance and services do these folks need the most? And how can you get involved if you want to help out? This week we're talking to the folks who are organizing volunteers and providing food, shelter, clothing and medical care to asylum seekers who are being released by the federal government here. We'd like to hear from you. Email LetsTalk@KUNM.org, tweet with the hashtag #LetsTalkNM or call in live during the show.