us border patrol detention
Immigrants who have been caught crossing the border illegally have been housed inside the McAllen Border Patrol Station in McAllen, Texas, as shown July 15, 2014. A new report alleged abuses of Mexican migrants by U.S. Border Patrol agents. Reuters/Rick Loomis

Close to 40 percent of Mexican migrants who were deported from the United States told researchers that agents had violated their human rights while they were held for illegal crossing the U.S. border with Mexico, according to a new study by an NGO and a Jesuit conference. The detention conditions described amid the abuses allegedly inflicted by U.S. Border Patrol agents include cold and overcrowded holding cells, filthy conditions, poor food quality, a lack of access to medical care and scarcity of personal hygiene items.

Two-thirds of migrant families with minors, who were detained together, reported being separated and were deported to Mexico individually, the study by the Kino Border Initiative and Jesuit Conferences of Canada and the United States revealed this week. The report compiled interviews with hundreds of deported migrants, according to a TelesurTV article.

Authors of the report denounced the detainee treatment because “detention conditions […] frequently violated the human rights and dignity of migrants.”

The vast majority of migrants who said they had been abused did not file complaints, despite having been robbed, verbally and physically assaulted and even sexually molested at the hands of Border Patrol agents, according to the report. U.S. authorities have either ignored or inadequately responded to abuse allegations and complaints of human rights violations, The Kino Border Initiative, a bi-national organization promoting humane immigration policies, said.

“Family members apprehended together are systematically separated from each other, and […] this separation leads to significant financial hardships, security risks, and an increased likelihood of victimization by criminals and corrupt police once individuals are deported to Mexico,” the report said.

The study also looked at the quality and professionalism of Border Patrol agents. Researchers found that 80 percent of new patrol agent hires had failed a polygraph test or had a criminal history. An analysis of agent abuse allegation shows the rates of abuse grew consistently from 2007 through 2012.

U.S. Deportations Over Time | InsideGov