Young migrants placed in a Virginia facility say they were abused during their time there, according to an Associated Press report published Thursday.
A lawsuit filed against the facility reportedly includes abuse allegations from young Latino migrants, some of whom were detained at the center for years.
The immigrants say they faced beatings and were placed in solitary confinement at the Shenandoah Valley Juvenile Center near Charlottesville, according to the AP report.
“Whenever they used to restrain me and put me in the chair, they would handcuff me,” said one immigrant from Honduras, who was 15 when placed in the detention center, the news service reported.
“Strapped me down all the way, from your feet all the way to your chest, you couldn’t really move," the immigrant added. "They have total control over you. They also put a bag over your head. It has little holes; you can see through it. But you feel suffocated with the bag on.”
The AP noted that the center’s attorneys have denied the physical assault accusations.
The news service also said the majority of the children held at the facility tried crossing the southern border by themselves unlawfully and were not among the children recently separated from their families at the border.
Immigration officials alleged that a lot of the young migrants were members of gangs, including MS-13, before they were placed at Shenandoah, the report said.
The AP report comes amid the fallout from the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy, which has caused the separation of children from their families.
President TrumpDonald TrumpJan. 6 panel plans to subpoena Trump lawyer who advised on how to overturn election Texans chairman apologizes for 'China virus' remark Biden invokes Trump in bid to boost McAuliffe ahead of Election Day MORE on Wednesday signed an executive order that would permit the undocumented families to remain together.
Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsTrump criticizes Justice for restoring McCabe's benefits McCabe wins back full FBI pension after being fired under Trump Overnight Hillicon Valley — Apple issues security update against spyware vulnerability MORE in April directed the Justice Department to prioritize the criminal prosecution of individuals who try to unlawfully cross the U.S.-Mexico border.
That order caused the separation of children from their families at the border when the adults faced prosecution.