Migrant Teen Spoke Out To Help Others At Border Detention | NBC News Now


>>JUST INCREDIBLE THAT HE SPOKE>>JUST INCREDIBLE THAT HE SPOKE WITH YOU. WITH YOU. I KNOW YOU AND YOUR PRODUCERS I KNOW YOU AND YOUR PRODUCERS SPENT MUCH TIME TALKING TO HIM SPENT MUCH TIME TALKING TO HIM AND HIS FAMILY. AND HIS FAMILY. WHAT MADE HIM WANT TO COME WHAT MADE HIM WANT TO COME FORWARD? FORWARD?>>Reporter: THAT’S A GOOD>>Reporter: THAT’S A GOOD QUESTION. QUESTION. A LOT OF THESE REPORTS HAVE COME A LOT OF THESE REPORTS HAVE COME THROUGH A GOVERNMENT CASEWORKER. THROUGH A GOVERNMENT CASEWORKER. THAT’S WHAT STARTED THIS. THAT’S WHAT STARTED THIS. IT WAS ONE OF 30 REPORTS THAT MY IT WAS ONE OF 30 REPORTS THAT MY COLLEAGUE AND I GOT TWO WEEKS COLLEAGUE AND I GOT TWO WEEKS AGO. AGO. OR IT’S BEEN FROM LAWMAKERS OR OR IT’S BEEN FROM LAWMAKERS OR OTHER LAWYERS GOING INTO THESE OTHER LAWYERS GOING INTO THESE FACILITIES AND TELLING US ABOUT FACILITIES AND TELLING US ABOUT THEM. THEM. BUT IN THIS CASE, ABNER FELT BUT IN THIS CASE, ABNER FELT THAT HE COULD SHARE HIS STORY. THAT HE COULD SHARE HIS STORY. WE HAD TO AGREE TO ANONYMITY. WE HAD TO AGREE TO ANONYMITY. THERE’S A LOT OF TENSION HERE THERE’S A LOT OF TENSION HERE AND A LOT OF ANXIETY IN AND A LOT OF ANXIETY IN IMMIGRANT COMMUNITIES BECAUSE IMMIGRANT COMMUNITIES BECAUSE THEY’RE WORRIED THAT IF THEY OUT THEY’RE WORRIED THAT IF THEY OUT THEMSELVES AND UNDOCUMENTED THEY THEMSELVES AND UNDOCUMENTED THEY WOULD BE TARGETED FOR WOULD BE TARGETED FOR DEPORTATION PARTICULARLY WHEN DEPORTATION PARTICULARLY WHEN THEY ARE COMPLAINING AGAINST THEY ARE COMPLAINING AGAINST CONDITIONS THAT THE U.S. CONDITIONS THAT THE U.S. DEVELOPMENT PUT THEM THROUGH. DEVELOPMENT PUT THEM THROUGH.>>WAS HE VERY RELUCKKCTANTRELUC>>WAS HE VERY RELUCKKCTANTRELUC DID IT TAKE A LOT OF TALKING DID IT TAKE A LOT OF TALKING WITH HIM IN ORDER FOR HIM TO WITH HIM IN ORDER FOR HIM TO FEEL COMFORTABLE? FEEL COMFORTABLE? OR HE JUST REACHED THE POINT OR HE JUST REACHED THE POINT WHERE HE SAID I HAVE TO DO MY WHERE HE SAID I HAVE TO DO MY PART? PART?>>I DON’T KNOW IF IT WAS>>I DON’T KNOW IF IT WAS NECESSARILY HE SAW IT AS DOING NECESSARILY HE SAW IT AS DOING HIS PART AS MUCH AS IT WAS HE HIS PART AS MUCH AS IT WAS HE FELT COMFORTABLE. FELT COMFORTABLE. THERE WERE TIMES ALONG THE WAY THERE WERE TIMES ALONG THE WAY WHERE WE HAD TO ENSURE THAT HE WHERE WE HAD TO ENSURE THAT HE FELT COMFORTABLE. FELT COMFORTABLE. THE REASON THAT INTERVIEW WAS AT THE REASON THAT INTERVIEW WAS AT THE STUDIO OF THE CHICAGO BUREAU THE STUDIO OF THE CHICAGO BUREAU OF NBC WAS BECAUSE IF WE WENT TO OF NBC WAS BECAUSE IF WE WENT TO HIS HOME WITH CAMERAS, HE WAS HIS HOME WITH CAMERAS, HE WAS NERVOUS. NERVOUS. WHEN WE FIRST SAW HIM IN THE WHEN WE FIRST SAW HIM IN THE LOBBY, THEY WERE WORRIED THIS LOBBY, THEY WERE WORRIED THIS WAS A SETUP, THAT ONE WAS PART WAS A SETUP, THAT ONE WAS PART OF LAW ENFORCEMENT THERE TO OF LAW ENFORCEMENT THERE TO ARREST HIM. ARREST HIM. THAT IS THE LEVEL OF FEAR. THAT IS THE LEVEL OF FEAR. WE WERE JUST SURROUNDING HIM WE WERE JUST SURROUNDING HIM WITH COMFORT. WITH COMFORT. IT’S HARD TO EXPLAIN WHAT THE IT’S HARD TO EXPLAIN WHAT THE AMERICAN PUBLIC THINKS ABOUT AMERICAN PUBLIC THINKS ABOUT IMMIGRATION TO AN IMMIGRANT. IMMIGRATION TO AN IMMIGRANT. WE’VE TRIED TO EMPHASIZE THAT WE’VE TRIED TO EMPHASIZE THAT POINT OVER AND OVER, THAT YOUR POINT OVER AND OVER, THAT YOUR STORY WILL RESONATE, YOUR STORY STORY WILL RESONATE, YOUR STORY WILL HELP TELL OTHERS WHAT WILL HELP TELL OTHERS WHAT HAPPENED THERE. HAPPENED THERE. IN THE END, IT WAS JUST AS LONG IN THE END, IT WAS JUST AS LONG AS HE FELT COMFORTABLE, HE FELT AS HE FELT COMFORTABLE, HE FELT BETTER ABOUT GOING FORWARD WITH BETTER ABOUT GOING FORWARD WITH IT. IT.>>HAS CBP RESPONDED TO THESE>>HAS CBP RESPONDED TO THESE CLAIMS? CLAIMS?>>THEY HAVE.>>THEY HAVE. WE GOT A STATEMENT YESTERDAY. WE GOT A STATEMENT YESTERDAY. WE GAVE THEM OVER 24 HOURS TO WE GAVE THEM OVER 24 HOURS TO RESPOND TO THESE ALLEGATIONS. RESPOND TO THESE ALLEGATIONS. THEY SAID THAT SOME OF ABNER’S THEY SAID THAT SOME OF ABNER’S CLAIMS WERE INCONSISTENT WITH CLAIMS WERE INCONSISTENT WITH CONDITIONS IN THE YUMA FACILITY CONDITIONS IN THE YUMA FACILITY AROUND THAT TIME. AROUND THAT TIME. HE WAS THERE FROM LATE MAY TO HE WAS THERE FROM LATE MAY TO EARLY JUNE. EARLY JUNE. THEY WERE ABLE TO GO BACK AND THEY WERE ABLE TO GO BACK AND LOOK AT WHAT THE CONDITIONS WERE LOOK AT WHAT THE CONDITIONS WERE REPORTED AT THAT TIME. REPORTED AT THAT TIME. AS FAR AS VERY SPECIFIC AS FAR AS VERY SPECIFIC ALLEGATIONS, THEY DID NOT GET ALLEGATIONS, THEY DID NOT GET INTO SPECIFICS. INTO SPECIFICS. THEY JUST SAID THEY WOULD REFER THEY JUST SAID THEY WOULD REFER THOSE TO THEIR OFFICE OF THOSE TO THEIR OFFICE OF PROFESSIONAL RESPONSIBILITY. PROFESSIONAL RESPONSIBILITY. BECAUSE WE WERE ABLE TO LOOK AT BECAUSE WE WERE ABLE TO LOOK AT THE REPORTS FROM 30 OTHER THE REPORTS FROM 30 OTHER CHILDREN AROUND THIS SAME TIME, CHILDREN AROUND THIS SAME TIME, THESE ARE IN FORMGOVERNMENT SPEA THESE ARE IN FORMGOVERNMENT SPEA BUT WHAT HE SAYS IS CONSISTENT BUT WHAT HE SAYS IS CONSISTENT WITH WHAT THESE OTHER CHILDREN WITH WHAT THESE OTHER CHILDREN WERE SAYING. WERE SAYING. THEY TALK ABOUT RETALIATION FROM THEY TALK ABOUT RETALIATION FROM GUARDS, BEING AFRAID TO ASK FOR GUARDS, BEING AFRAID TO ASK FOR THINGS, BEING VERY COLD, THINGS, BEING VERY COLD, OVERCROWDED AND NOT HAVING OVERCROWDED AND NOT HAVING ENOUGH TO EAT OR BEING ABLE TO ENOUGH TO EAT OR BEING ABLE TO TAKE A SHOWER. TAKE A SHOWER. OF COURSE CUSTOMS AND BORDER OF COURSE CUSTOMS AND BORDER PROTECTION IS PUSHING BACK, PROTECTION IS PUSHING BACK, SAYING THEY DID THE BEST THEY SAYING THEY DID THE BEST THEY COULD TO PROVIDE CARE DESPITE COULD TO PROVIDE CARE DESPITE THE OVERCROWDING.

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