Three minors separated from their parents under President Trump's "zero tolerance" policy were sexually abused by employees at unidentified U.S. detention centers in Arizona, El Salvador's deputy foreign relations minister Liduvina Magarin told reporters Thursday. The children, age 12 to 17, are among the 191 Salvadoran minors separated from their parents, 18 of whom are still in U.S. shelters. "They are sexual violations, sexual abuses, that is what this is about," Magarin said. The three children are in good health, she added, but "the psychological and emotional impact is forever, and we are attending to that situation."
Magarin said her government is urging the U.S. to reunify the separated families because the children "are the most vulnerable" in the shelters. Police have received at least 125 reports of sex offenses at shelters mostly holding migrant children, ProPublica reported in July, and one Phoenix shelter worker was arrested last month for molesting a 14-year-old migrant girl. As of Aug. 20, 528 children in U.S. custody remained separated from their parents, including 23 children under age 5 and 343 whose parents are no longer in America. District Judge Dana Sabraw had ordered the Trump administration to reunite all 2,654 separated minors by July 26.