Shocking videos show staff at USA immigrant shelter dragging and shoving children

Shocking videos show staff at USA immigrant shelter dragging and shoving children

The news comes after the Arizona Republic obtained surveillance videos through an open records request that show staffers pushing and dragging migrant children in a shelter operated by Southwest Key, the nation's largest provider of migrant children shelters.

The Maricopa County Sheriff's Department previously said last week that the videos did not raise alarm over possible criminal violations, but Sheriff Paul Penzone said Monday that prosecutors were now determining "if all aspects of the potential allegations were thoroughly investigated".

Prosecutors will decide whether to file charges. The treatment continued even after the child falls to the ground.

The incidents allegedly took place at the Youngtown shelter, called Hacienda Del Sol, which the company closed in October.

The shelter held immigrant children who came to the US without a parent or in some cases were separated from family.

On Sunday, CNN aired footage of shelter workers in Arizona shoving small migrant children under their care. Another staff member is seen in the same video dragging and pulling another child across the floor.

It held about 1,600 youngsters in 13 facilities in Arizona but this was reduced by half following the investigation. That number was cut in about half by the end of the year.

According to the Republic, Southwest Key had reported the incidents shown in the videos - all of which occurred in mid-September - to state authorities, local law enforcement and federal officials. At the time, Southwest Key said the Office of Refugee Resettlement had chose to suspend operations at Hacienda Del Sol because of an unspecified incident. "We are simultaneously engaging the Child Welfare Consulting Partnership to do an independent, top-to bottom review of our processes, procedures, hiring and training in our Arizona shelters", the statement said.

The US Department of Health and Human Services, which is in charge of caring for immigrant children, said its focus is on the safety and best interest of each child.

'The investigation determined that while physical force and restraint techniques were used against these minor children, these actions did not rise to the level of criminal charges, ' Sgt Joaquin Enriquez said in a statement.

The federal government suspended operations with this particular facility in October, though it is unclear if these videos, from mid-September, played any part in the Government's decision to terminate the agreement.

In August, police arrested a 33-year-old man on suspicion of sexually abusing a 14-year-old girl at a Southwest Key shelter where just weeks earlier first lady Melania Trump had taken a tour. About a month later, an employee at a shelter in Mesa, Arizona, who is HIV-positive, was convicted of sexually abusing several boys.

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