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Texas DPS whistleblower insists officials aren’t being candid

by Dave Lieber

You can follow the action at my Watchdog page at The Dallas Morning News. But as a supplement to my columns (there have now been four), I also like to present the actual comments from various parties so you can decide for yourself.

Background: I exposed this program of fingerprinting all Texas driver’s license applicants. DPS defends it as legal under a 2005 state law. Some state lawmakers say that’s not what they voted on.

In this installment of What the Players Actually Say (read a previous one here), I share the detailed memo that DPS is sending to state legislators who inquire about the program.

Here is the DPS memo in full. (This opens into Scribd where we have uploaded it for you.)

And below I have the response to that memo from Ryan Barrett, the fingerprint tech who resigned, in part, because he believes, as others do, that the quietly-launched program is illegal, unethical and unathorized by state lawmakers.

Ryan Barrett’s response:

I am noticing in these documents that the PR team I suppose that is trying to handle/respond to everything still doesn’t see that AFIS isn’t the only issue – the crimes & records department maintains a record after it runs through AFIS.

Also, while they maintain that they aren’t searching an individual’s criminal history, it is important to note the database (which is split into AFIS and CCH) that the crimes & records department houses is, by its very nature, a criminal history database.  CCH stands for Computerized Criminal History! Therefore, by using AFIS to identify a record with fingerprints (which is the point of AFIS), they are indeed searching for someone’s criminal history, because that’s the point of the database.  Concealed handgun licenses require a criminal background check – therefore they are run through AFIS and stored in the department. Same goes for the national guard, teachers, realtors, etc.

Generally, there are two cases AFIS and CCH is used for:

1) A licensing agency wants to know the criminal background of an applicant because it’s required by state law – therefore they submit the applicant’s prints to AFIS, which gives them a record number of the applicant, which is then used to look-up their criminal (and licensing) history in CCH.

2) A Texas police agency wants to submit an arrest – therefore they submit the arrested person’s prints with the arrest data to AFIS, which gives the police agency back a record number of the individual arrested, which allows them to see their criminal (or licensing) history in CCH.

In either case, the submitted information is retained in both AFIS (fingerprints) and CCH (license or arrest information). So what happens if you don’t have a record in case #1 or #2? A new one is instantly created and stored in the system.Driver’s licenses are now part of case #1. Does the DL department care about your criminal history? No – excluding citations and DUI’s. But what effectively happens is that the Department of Public Safety’s law enforcement side gets to have and use practically every individual’s fingerprints in the state for purposes other than licensing. The separation is gone. Think about this for a second: when you renew or obtain a new driver’s license as of January 2014, your prints and that record are also stored in the DPS’s Crimes & Records department.One secondary positive effect of using AFIS is ensuring unique records – i.e., there are no duplicate records, and every record reflects a unique individual.  That’s what the DPS is trying to take advantage of by sending drivers license fingerprints through the system. I’m all for that, but it needs to be separate – drivers licensing needs its own system that houses and contains only DL fingerprints. Additionally, we need a clear definition of what constitutes using our fingerprints. We have definitions for arrests and licensing agencies that require criminal history checks. But not with drivers licenses.Are drivers licenses at the same level as a concealed handgun license? Regardless of the answer, there needs to be concrete legislation AND policies/procedures that define these topics.  Most importantly, the public needs to be able to know what’s going on with their private information.  Had Dave’s articles not been in the media, how would anyone have known what was happening? How would anyone have had the chance to debate this topic?

Illegals and Flesh Eating Bacteria

James Stanczak

A middle aged man in Florida died from a “flesh eating bacteria” this week. The bacteria, called vibrio vulnificus, can be fatal for victims with chronic health conditions. For someone who is not physically fit, who has chronic health conditions, or a weakened immune system, this bacteria can be fatal if it enters the bloodstream. When it does enter the blood, a condition known as Septicemia and Bacteremia can occur. According to pediatrician, Dr. Kathleen Hassel MD, a Texas Children’s physician, in the last several weeks there has been an explosion of pediatric patients coming in with new forms of skin and rash infections. Those infections include everything from hand, foot, and mouth, which according to the CDC, is a common viral illness that usually affects infants and children younger than 5 years old, but lately even adults have been treated. Other infections such as staph, strep, and CRE, among others are showing up in clinics everywhere. The main issue is that many of these strands are becoming antibiotic resistant and more contagious. According to Dr. Susan Evans, MD, (Dr. OZ Show) this disease is already, “somewhat contagious, and bacteria from this disease can be spread by kissing, or touching an infected wound.” According to the World Health Organization, strands from different parts of the globe, especially in less developed areas, are becoming more and more contagious.

Infectious disease experts at St Luke’s Hospitals in Houston ,Texas have confirmed that several new strands are being seen in hospitals all over Texas, and patients have been admitted, some for lengthy stays into the hospital. One of the most common strands of infection doctors are seeing is called MRSA, which means methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus.

Once a bacteria finds its way into the the tissue, it becomes known as Necrotizing Fasciitis, this is an infection that often starts in the tissues just below the skin. It then spreads along the flat layers of tissue known as fascia, which separate different layers of soft tissue, such as muscle and fat. This dangerous infection is most common in the arms, legs, and abdominal wall. The terrifying issue of this disease is that it is fatal in 30%-40% of all cases according to the AMA and World Health Organization.

In fact, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, a report showed that MRSA infections reached 127,000 in 1999, with as many as 11,000 people dying from the deadly superbug. MRSA pneumonia or sepsis deaths have lessened since then, however, according to health officials in Texas, a large amount of new cases have surfaced with strands of infection that are more difficult to treat with the standard antibiotics. Many of these strands may in fact have found their way into the U.S with illegals crossing the borders. Reports have surfaced this summer of illegals bringing in a host of unfamiliar diseases and illnesses, and they have been reported by border patrol, hospitals, doctors offices, and individuals who have come in contact, and seen outbreaks first hand.

Various reports from corporate and social media have stated that the sick population, especially the elderly is going to be the worst affected by new infections and illnesses. Speculation and rising concern from many Americans is that if “Obamacare” was created with the idea in mind that an influx of new diseases and health issues would be introduced into the American population as borders are opened up, and the United States government and corporations begin pushing for millions of new immigrants from all over the globe to enter into the US. This influx is allowed by officials such as the President, in hopes that it will help the economy, and free up border security issues in North America.

The majority of government and pro-federal reserve economists claim that illegal immigrants have a net positive effect on the economy and help global corporations.  A professor of economics at the University of Texas stated this week, If they’re “taking our jobs,” it means they’re working, and getting paid, and spending that money, Americans are asking too much of corporations for them to hire them. Illegals don’t care.” Congressman Gene Green stated, “That isn’t bad for the economy — that is the economy, and the economy is better than it has ever been in my lifetime.”

Roberto Unger, former Harvard economics professor of President Obama stated, “Washington has abandoned America’s workers while pushing a policy of “food stamps, and living with illness” and this has become, “the vehicle for the progressive alternative in the country.”

Regardless of the many new illnesses and economic hardships Americans will now face for years to come, early treatment  of these illnesses, like “flesh eating bacteria” is critical. Hospitalization, usually with treatment in the intensive-care unit (ICU), is required. Surgery to remove infected fluids and tissue may be necessary, along with medications to treat shock and other potential complications. At least we Americans, illegals included, can have government healthcare pay for the new bills-those that millions and millions of Americans are bound to rack up.

Continue reading here.

Forbes 400: The Richest People In Texas

by Christopher Helman

Congratulations Texas — this year the Lone Star State can boast 41 slots on the Forbes 400. That’s more than any other state except California and New York. These rich listers are concentrated in our two biggest metro areas, with 22 in Dallas/Fort Worth versus just 12 here in Houston.

Missing from the list this year are such veteran Forbes 400 members as Red McCombs ($1.25 billion) and T. Boone Pickens ($950 million). Also gone is natural gas pioneer George Mitchell, who passed away this year.

Upon learning that he’d missed the Forbes 400 cut (mostly due to soured investments in wind farms), T. Boone took it well. He tweeted: “Don’t worry. At $950 million, I’m doing fine. Funny, my $1 billion charitable giving exceeds my net worth.”

As if we needed any confirmation that Texas is far more than just an oil and gas state, only half of these richest Texans owe their fortunes to Texas Tea.

My Forbes colleagues and I are always on the hunt for new billionaires to celebrate, in Texas and all over. If you have some suspects we should look into drop me a line at (Come on Houston, let’s beat Dallas next year.)

1. Alice Walton

$33.5 billion

Fort Worth

Wal-Mart heiress Alice Walton’s Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art — which she founded in 2011 — has eclipsed 1 million visitors in under two years of operation. Not bad for the small-town Bentonville, Ark., museum, which includes works spanning five centuries from icons like Andy Warhol, Norman Rockwell and Georgia O’Keeffe. Some pieces she donated from her personal collection (which is valued in the hundreds of millions of dollars). As the biggest philanthropist of the Walton family, Alice gave more than $2 million in 2012 to support charter school initiatives. She and her siblings have also donated about $2 billion to the Walton Family Foundation over the last five years. Daughter of retail visionary Sam (d. 1992), Alice graduated from Trinity College in San Antonio, Tex., and now spends most of her time on the Rocking W Ranch in Milsap, outside of Fort Worth. Since last year, she received more than $350 million in Wal-Mart dividends after taxes. (Forbes reporter Clare O’Connor just got an exclusive look inside her world.)

2. Michael Dell

$15.9 billion


After months locked in battle with activist investor Carl Icahn, PC entrepreneur Michael Dell won shareholder approval of his final $24.9 billion offer to take his eponymous company private in what will be the biggest leveraged buy-out in recent years. The Texan, who started the PC maker in his dorm room 29 years ago and remains Chairman and CEO, believes pulling out of the public markets will help Dell shift from a struggling personal computer business into a business software giant. Today the bulk of Dell’s own fortune is tied up in his investment firm MSD Capital; its $12 billion portfolio includes banking, property, dental practices and landscaping companies. On the charitable front, the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation has committed more than $900 million to eradicating urban poverty and improving child health. In January 2013, the foundation said it will donate $50 million to the University of Texas to build its new medical school, which will be named after Dell.

3. Richard Kinder

Continue reading here.

EXCLUSIVE: ‘A lot of people die out here’ and ‘all this blood…is on Obama’s hands’: Shocking images show corpses of illegal immigrants left to die after border crossings

by David Martosko

The dead bodies of illegal immigrants are turning up in south Texas as Central Americans pour across the U.S.-Mexico border, and a veterinarian who ranches cattle 70 miles from ground zero has the photos to prove it.

Dr. Mike ‘Doc’ Vickers of Brooks County, Texas showed some of the grisly images to MailOnline, all of them far too grotesque to publish unedited.

One picture shows a corpse propped up against a tree near his ranch in Brooks County, his eyes missing and dried blood cascading down his shirtless body.

‘This guy, obviously, had to lay down up against that tree, and that’s where he died,’ Vickers says in interview footage provided exclusively to MailOnline by documentary filmmaker Chris Burgard.

Falcons native to the Rio Grande river valley ‘plucked his eyes out before he was dead,’ the animal doctor concludes. ‘He bled out through his eyes, which tells me that he was probably in a coma but they were eatin’ on him before his heart stopped beating.’

Burgard is working on a sequel to his 2007 documentary, ‘Border,’ which made a splash on the film-festival circuit years before illegal immigration swelled to what President Barack Obama now concedes is a ‘humanitarian crisis.’

When he filmed ‘Border’ in 2005, he said, ‘we had to go out and find illegal traffic.’

‘This time it found us.’

He screened his film on Capitol Hill back then, telling members of Congress that children were becoming pawns in Mexican drug cartels’ smuggling operations into the U.S. homeland.

‘I am not surprised to find immigrants dying 70 miles north of the border,’ Burgard told MailOnline, but ‘I am surprised that nine years later it is still a secret to most of the American people.’

‘The Federal Government has long known about this,’ he said, ticking off Texas and Arizona counties where human remains are continually turning up.

‘Local officials who deal with collecting the bodies are so overwhelmed financially that the cost of coroner inquests on each case is dramatically affecting their budgets.’

Continue reading here (+ graphic content).

Illegals to Be Kept in ‘Suites’ with Flat Screen TVs & Exercise Facilities

Immigration and Customs Enforcement on Friday will open a remodeled detention center three hours north of the Rio Grande Valley.

The Karnes City center will house women and children who entered the country illegally through the Valley.

The 532-bed facility underwent a massive renovation to house women and children. The center housed only adult immigrants in the past.

Immigrants will be at the facility for an average of 23 days.

The feds said the rooms will be referred to as “suites.” The suites are furnished with bunk beds, play tables for children, flat-screen television sets and landline telephones.

“I will refer to everyone in this facility as a resident. ICE generally refers to people in custody as detainees,” ICE San Antonio Field Office Director Enrique Lucero said.

Lucero oversaw the transformation of the center.

Obama mulls large-scale move on immigration

by Erica Werner

Even as they grapple with an immigration crisis at the border, White House officials are making plans to act before November’s mid-term elections to grant work permits to potentially millions of immigrants who are in this country illegally, allowing them to stay in the United States without threat of deportation, according to advocates and lawmakers in touch with the administration.

Such a large-scale move on immigration could scramble election-year politics and lead some conservative Republicans to push for impeachment proceedings against President Barack Obama, a prospect White House officials have openly discussed.

Yet there’s little sign that the urgent humanitarian situation in South Texas, where unaccompanied minors have been showing up by the tens of thousands from Central America, has impeded Obama from making plans to address some portion of the 11.5 million immigrants now in this country illegally. Obama announced late last month that congressional efforts to remake the nation’s dysfunctional immigration system were dead and he would proceed on his own authority to fix the system where he could.

Since then he’s asked Congress for $3.7 billion to deal with the crisis of unaccompanied youths, a request that’s gone unmet even as the House and the Senate scramble to see if they can vote on some solution to the crisis this week before adjourning for their annual August recess.

Meanwhile, White House officials led by Domestic Policy Council Director Cecilia Munoz and White House Counsel Neil Eggleston, along with Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, have been working to chart a plan on executive actions Obama could take, hosting frequent meetings with interest groups and listening to recommendations from immigration advocates, law enforcement officials, religious leaders, Hispanic lawmakers and others.

Advocates and lawmakers who were in separate meetings Friday said that administration officials are weighing a range of options including reforms to the deportation system and ways to grant relief from deportation to targeted populations in the country, likely by expanding Obama’s two-year-old directive that granted work permits to certain immigrants brought here illegally as youths. That program, called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, has been extended to more than 500,000 immigrants so far.

Advocates would like to see deferred action made available to anyone who would have been eligible for eventual citizenship under a comprehensive immigration bill the Senate passed last year, which would be around 9 million people. But Obama told them in a meeting a month ago to “right-size” expectations, even as he pledged to be aggressive in steps he does take.

That’s led advocates to focus on other populations Obama might address, including parents or legal guardians of U.S. citizen children (around 3.8 million people as of 2009, according to an analysis by Pew Research‘s Hispanic Trends Project) and parents or legal guardians of DACA recipients (perhaps 500,000 to 1 million people, according to the Fair Immigration Reform Movement).

“Our parents deserve to live without the fear of deportation,” Maria Praeli, a 21-year-old from New Haven who came to the United States from Peru 16 years ago, said at a protest outside the White House on Monday. “It is time for the president to go big and to go bold.”

Another focus could be the potentially hundreds of thousands of people who might be eligible for green cards today if current law didn’t require them to leave the country for 10 years before applying for one.

At the same time, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce says it is actively working to determine whether there are steps Obama could take by executive action that could help the business community.

For Obama, the political repercussions of broad executive action on immigration could be unpredictable, and extreme.

Republicans are warning he could provoke a constitutional crisis.

“It would be an affront to the people of this country which they will never forgive, it would be a permanent stain on your presidency,” Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., said on the Senate floor Monday, while urging language to block such executive action be made part of any legislation to address the border crisis.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., announced plans to use an oversight hearing on the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services agency Tuesday to raise questions about Obama’s plans, which he warned could “worsen the border crisis and encourage many more to come.”

On the other side, some Democrats have debated the best timing for Obama to take executive action, raising questions as to whether acting before the midterms could hurt vulnerable Senate Democrats in close races while boosting turnout among the GOP base.

But liberal advocates noted that Obama’s move on deferred action two years ago gave him a boost heading into his re-election and could help this year with Latino voters discouraged over the failure of immigration reform legislation and record-high deportations on Obama’s watch. Republicans would be in a position of deciding whether to come out in favor of deporting sympathetic groups, such as parents, and many liberals say impeachment talk would only shore up Democratic base voters.

“Most Democrats will be thrilled” if Obama acts boldly on immigration, said Frank Sharry, executive director of America’s Voice, a leading advocacy group. “And Republicans will keep lurching to the right and cementing their reputation as the anti-immigrant party.”

Abbott’s action in Baylor Plano case followed big donations

by Wayne Slater

When Baylor Regional Medical Center in Plano was accused of protecting a neurosurgeon whose patients died or were maimed, it got some outside help from Attorney General Greg Abbott.

Abbott has intervened in three federal cases on the hospital’s side. He says he’s defending state law as a matter of principle. But he’s also siding with one of his biggest campaign contributors.

In March, Abbott — the Republican nominee for governor — filed motions to intervene in federal court against former patients who sued the doctor claiming botched spinal surgeries. The patients contend that the 2003 Texas law sharply limiting medical malpractice suits is unconstitutional.

Aides say Abbott is trying to defend an important state reform, not shield Baylor from liability. But his action would make it more difficult for the patients to win their cases.

Baylor Regional is part of the Baylor Scott & White Health hospital system. The chairman of the system’s board of trustees is Drayton McLane, a Temple transportation executive and Republican political contributor. McLane has donated to Abbott before, but never in the large sums of the last year amid the hospital’s mounting legal problems.

Abbott received $100,000 from McLane in June 2013 and another $250,000 in January. The donations coincide with Abbott stepping up his fundraising as his campaign for governor developed. But before these contributions, McLane’s biggest donation to Abbott was $25,000, according to state records.

The $100,000 donation came a day after the Texas Medical Board suspended the license of Dr. Christopher Duntsch, who left Baylor Plano in 2012 after a series of problem surgeries. The second donation was reported a week after the second of several medical malpractice lawsuits was filed against the doctor and hospital.

Abbott’s opponent this fall, Democratic state Sen. Wendy Davis of Fort Worth, has charged that such cases are part of a pattern in which Abbott used his authority as attorney general to protect powerful insiders at the expense of ordinary Texans. Abbott’s campaign rejects that, saying he has an obligation to defend state law. And he contends it’s Davis who has abused her power, voting to help her public-sector law clients.

In separate statements, Abbott and McLane said they have not discussed the lawsuits. McLane said he didn’t know about the case before contributing to Abbott’s governor’s race, has no financial interest in the nonprofit hospital system and serves as board chairman as a community service. The position is unpaid.

“I had no knowledge of the Duntsch lawsuits or the challenge of the constitutionality of Texas law in relation to these lawsuits prior to writing my last check to General Abbott’s campaign,” McLane said in a written statement.

A spokeswoman for Abbott said McLane’s contributions played no role in Abbott’s decision to intervene.

“The state is not defending the hospital or the doctor in this case — or their alleged conduct,” said Abbott deputy communications director Lauren Bean. “If the hospital or doctor have violated the law, then they will be held accountable, and nothing in the state’s court filings opposes the plaintiffs on that front.”

Lawyers for the patients say the state law sets such a high legal bar for proving gross negligence that it effectively shields hospitals from accountability.

Patients have accused Duntsch of operating under the influence of alcohol and drugs, damaging their spines and slicing through arteries in operations that one colleague described as “clueless surgical technique” that left patients dead or quadriplegic. His case was detailed in a Dallas Morning News investigation published in March.

“Duntsch is an impaired physician, a sociopath and must be stopped,” a medical colleague wrote the state medical board, which has revoked Duntsch’s license.

Patients suing the hospital allege Baylor knew Duntsch was a dangerous physician but did not stop him from performing back surgery and failed to tell other employers after he left the hospital. Both Duntsch and the hospital have denied any wrongdoing.

In his run for governor, several of Abbott’s actions as attorney general have come under scrutiny.

Abbott authorized scores of state bond issues in which he has received more than $200,000 from the political committees of law firms serving as bond counsel.

Earlier this year, Abbott ruled that the public cannot have access to state information about the location of potentially dangerous chemicals like those that caused the 2013 ammonium nitrate explosion in West in which 15 people were killed. The ruling came after he received $75,000 from the Koch Industries political committee and executives, including the head of the company’s fertilizer division.

Abbott has collected more than $75,000 in the governor’s race from the Farmers Insurance political committee amid criticism that a proposed settlement in a long-running lawsuit against Farmers doesn’t adequately compensate homeowners for being overcharged.

Abbott says he has always acted in the best interest of the state, not his financial donors.

As for the 2003 law involving malpractice claims, Abbott was a strong proponent. The statute puts caps on judgments in malpractice cases and protects hospitals from large awards except in cases where a court finds they intended to cause injury or death.

Backers say the law has helped keep doctors from leaving the state because of rising malpractice insurance premiums.

As a candidate for attorney general, Abbott was a strong advocate of a measure to limit lawsuits against business. He said the real “abuses in the health care industry today” were not from malpractice, but from lawsuits against doctors and hospitals.

“We must find ways to prevent those claims from going forward,” he said in a campaign debate in 2002.

The leading advocate of tort reform, including the 2003 medical malpractice law, is the business group Texans for Lawsuit Reform. Abbott has received more than $490,000 from the group since 2002.

In a statement, Baylor Scott & White Health said its only contact with Abbott about the Duntsch case was when the attorney general’s office asked an attorney representing the hospital whether it would object to state’s intervention in the case.

“Ultimately, the decision to allow the attorney general’s intervention was up to the presiding judge, and he found it appropriate and allowed it,” Baylor said in a written statement.

McLane said he’s making larger contributions to Abbott now than in the past because the attorney general is running for governor.

“When you look at my cumulative donations over the years, I have supported other Texas candidates, whom I believe in, similarly to how I have chosen to support General Abbott,” McLane said.

McLane’s $350,000 in donations to Abbott for this campaign is already his largest contribution to any Texas candidate. Before this year, his largest cumulative donation in any statewide race was $100,000 to Gov. Rick Perry’s 2010 re-election effort, according to campaign finance filings. McLane’s combined contributions to Perry since he became governor in 2000 totals $330,000.

Bean, the Abbott spokeswoman, said that if the patients in the case were not challenging the state law, the attorney general would not have intervened.

“The plaintiffs could have sued to recover damages without challenging the constitutionality of the law. If they had done that — or if they amend their pleadings to delete a challenge to the constitutionality of the law — then the state would not be a party to the case,” she said.

She added: “The state does not condone, support, or defend the actions of the hospital or doctor. The only thing the state will argue is that the law is not unconstitutional.”

[Watch] Border Agents and Their Families Becoming Sick After Contact With Infected Illegals

by Rick Wells

A DHS Inspector General is reporting that some Border Agents who have come into contact with infected illegal aliens have contracted the same diseases they are carrying. There are also verified instances where those agents have subsequently passed those infections to their own families.

The area identified in this report was in the southern Del Rio area of Texas. The diseases and infestations contracted included scabies, lice and chicken pox. Additionally, two Border Patrol agents in two different El Paso, TX substations have reportedly contracted tuberculosis.

In the past two weeks a total of 48 Border Patrol agents in the El Paso area have filed paperwork based upon a perceived health concern attributable to contact with the illegals.

The reporter was also able to confirm that two El Paso area agents were treated after they contracted scabies.

This will be the shared new reality for all of us who must face the fact that we no longer have the luxury of a border to protect us from the unpleasant things which afflict the rest of the world. We are being turned into a third world nation by the Democrats and with that distinction come the requisite diseases.

As we see our own children dealing with a totally contrived and deliberate infection that Obama, DHS and company have afflicted them with, we know where to direct our anger.

This is no random act and it is by no means an accident.

See video here.

United Nations blasts US plans for child migrants

The United Nations’ human rights chief expressed concern Thursday at what she said were plans by the U.S. government to deport tens of thousands of unaccompanied children who entered the United States in recent months.

Navi Pillay, U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, urged Washington to protect the child migrants and investigate dozens of reports of abuse against them by U.S. officials.

“I am particularly concerned because the United States appears to be taking steps to deport most of these children back,” Pillay told a news briefing in Geneva. “There are almost 100 reports of physical, verbal and sexual abuse by agents towards the children, filed in a complaint by NGOs (non-governmental organizations).”

“The United States does need to urgently investigate all alleged human rights abuses against children and severely sanction perpetrators,” the former U.N. war crimes judge said.

Around 57,000 children from Central America were detained at the U.S.-Mexico border after crossing the frontier without their parents in the nine months leading up to June 30.

Faced with a delicate and divisive political issue, President Barack Obama’s administration has said most of the children will be sent home as they would not qualify for asylum or refugee status.

The administration’s announcement comes amid an increasing belief among Americans that his administration should provide temporary support for unaccompanied Central American minors crossing the Texas border.

Nearly 70 percent of Americans — across political affiliations and religious backgrounds — believe the immigrant children should be treated like refugees, according to the poll by the Public Religion Research Institute.

Democrats and youth were most compassionate toward the immigrant children, with roughly 80 percent of both groups saying the government should support them until their cases are fully reviewed.

Last week Obama urged the leaders of Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador to work with him to stem the flow of child migrants and said most would not be allowed to stay.

But Pillay said children should only be deported if their protection was guaranteed in the countries they are returned to. Those needing international protection should be identified and granted protection in the United States, she said.

Mandatory detention of child migrants should only be a “last resort option” as it contravenes the legal principle of upholding a child’s best interests, she added.

Meanwhile, several Texas border mayors on Wednesday echoed Pillay’s concerns. Mayors from the border towns of Brownsville, Edinburg and McAllen, who have welcomed unaccompanied children over the past several months, called for a compassionate response to the crisis.

“What we need to do as a nation is to understand the human rights of all human families. I think it’s imperative that due process is implemented for all children, but some of the legislation we are looking at doesn’t have those provisions,” said Tony Martinez, mayor of Brownsville, Texas. “Children shouldn’t be expedited to the point where we don’t have justice.”

Obama’s drive to tackle the migrant crisis with $3.7 billion in emergency funds has hit trouble because the deeply divided Congress leaves on a month-long recess at the end of Friday.

John Cornyn of Texas, the No. 2 Republican in the U.S. Senate, said Sunday that he expected the House of Representatives to pass a “skinnied-down” emergency funding bill this week to deal with the crisis. But that potential finding was in doubt Thursday, after the House canceled a vote on the bill due to lack of support in the Republican conference.

“I recognize that there is a complicated political situation and we are in a position to offer assistance and advice and we do so,” said Pillay.

In the meantime, the United States must provide migrant children with services to support their “physical, psychological and emotional recovery,” she said.