Via America’s Lawyer: For years, young people being detained along our southern border have reported being sexually abused at the hands of both fellow detainees as well as US guards. Mike Papantonio and Trial Magazine Executive Editor Farron Cousins discuss the problem.


*This transcript was generated by a third-party transcription software company, so please excuse any typos.

Mike Papantonio:             For years, young people being detained along our southern border have reported being sexually abused at the hands of both fellow detainees as well as US guards. And even though things are getting worse, this behavior did not originate during the Trump administration as everybody would like to say, as plenty of past leaders have completely ignored this problem.

Farron Cousins from Trial Lawyer Magazine is with me now to talk about it. Farron the numbers are staggering. 4,500 reports, allegations, clearly allegations of sexual abuse. The, if you look at this story though, I’m hearing the same response that we heard under Obama. Obama had the same problem.

Bush before him had the same problem. And the argument is always that it’s not the HS, it’s not the HHS employees. They’re subcontractors in each state that are the problem. What is your take on this story?

Farron Cousins:                  That’s, that’s kind of the same thing we hear about. You know, anytime there’s bad things that the government does or bad things are happening from government employees is, oh no, no, no, it’s our private contractors. You know, it’s, it’s the private prison guards. It’s the private mercenaries over in Iraq.

The private contractors ripping us off. And now HHS says the same thing here. And the common thread is these contractors that we’re hiring to do these jobs, whether it is, make sure detainees aren’t getting raped or deliver goods overseas, it’s always the private contractors that are no good.

Mike Papantonio:             Okay, here’s what happens and we’ve seen it in every one of the stories you described. If they’re always looking, these, these contracts we’re talking about are always giveaways. They’re political giveaways. And so the, so they, at one hand, they want to say, well, we’re not really responsible. It was, you know, some subcontractor.

No, you are responsible because these are big gifts and big giveaways. People are making a lot of money. And if you can’t hire people that are qualified to do it, you know, that’s your, that’s your problem. But right now, I’ve got to tell you, this is a big problem, but I want to point out this has been a big problem for a long time. And as much as we talk about Obama, about Trump doing wrong. Obama, Bush did the same thing here, and they had the same problem and was never addressed.

Farron Cousins:                  Right. We had children locked in cages during the Obama administration along the southern border. We cannot overlook that and we cannot give him a pass. It’s been going on for too long and now we’re finding out the extent of the abuse and each story that comes out is worse than the one before it. This takes the cake.

Mike Papantonio is an American attorney and television and radio talk show host. He is past president of The National Trial Lawyers, the most prestigious trial lawyer association in America; and is one of the few living attorneys inducted into the Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame. He hosts the international television show "America's Lawyer"; and co-hosts Ring of Fire Radio, a nationally syndicated weekly radio program, with Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and Sam Seder.