Thousands of migrant children reported they were sexually assaulted in U.S. custody

USA TODAY

Thousands of migrant children who crossed the southern border into the U.S. have reported they were sexually assaulted while in government custody, according to Department of Health and Human Services documents released Tuesday by Rep. Ted Deutch's office.

In the past four years, 4,556 children said they were sexually assaulted while in the care of Health and Human Services' Office of Refugee Resettlement, which takes custody of unaccompanied minors who cross the southern border alone and those who are separated from their families. 

Allegations go back to 2015, meaning the alleged assaults started under the Obama administration. But the allegations have increased the past two years following the Trump administration's "zero tolerance" policy that led to at least 2,800 family separations flooding the department with additional children.

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