Human Rights Watch has found shocking cases of sexual and physical abuse of asylum seekers at the southern US border by federal authorities, following a years-long struggle to extract the evidence from the Department of Homeland Security.

Iran PressAmerica: A cache of files obtained by the human rights organization after years of legal wrangling reveals more than 160 incidents of misbehavior and abuse by top government agencies, including Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and the US Border Patrol.

According to The Guardian, the documents include incidents from 2016 through 2021, ranging from juvenile sexual abuse to forced starvation, rape threats, and harsh incarceration circumstances.

Human Rights Watch asserted that the US "should take urgent and sustained action to stop such abuses."

The records include alleged incidents of child sexual abuse by someone suspected to be a CBP or Border Patrol Officer and imprisonment following refusal to submit to an officer's sexual demands.

Officers stationed near the border with Mexico have long been accused of mistreating migrants and asylum seekers. Detention center conditions are reportedly harsh, and inmates have repeatedly reported such chilly conditions that cells are referred to as "hieleras," or iceboxes.

Inmates in the McAllen facility in 2019 reported being unable to move freely due to cells being filled to maximum capacity, as well as sharing their cells with scorpions, ticks, fleas, and ants. 

The Washington Post previously revealed a photo in September of a US Border Patrol officer on horseback grabbing Haitian migrants with one hand, and what appeared to be a whip in the other hand.