Senators Seek Info on Virginia Facility After Abuse Claims

(From AP News)

Virginia’s two Democratic senators asked the Trump administration Friday for answers about operations at a juvenile detention facility in the state where immigrant children said they were bound, beaten and isolated in solitary confinement.

Sens. Mark Warner and Tim Kaine sent to the head of the U.S. Office of Refugee Resettlement questions about the Shenandoah Valley Juvenile Center. The Associated Press reported Thursday that six Latino teens had made sworn statements detailing severe abuse they said they endured between 2015 and 2018, under both the Obama and Trump administrations. In court filings, lawyers for the detention facility have denied all allegations of physical abuse.

The senators asked whether regulators had received any past complaints involving the facility located near Staunton, Virginia. The Democrats also want to know whether there is a system in place to discipline staff members who abuse children in federal custody.

Officials at the Department of Health and Human Services, which includes the Refugee Resettlement office, have refused to provide any comment this week about when they first learned of the abuse allegations and whether any action has been taken to determine the veracity of those claims.

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