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University of Texas at Austin

Former social worker tells congressional forum of abuse at immigration detention center

WASHINGTON A former social worker told members of Congress on Tuesday that she witnessed rampant abuse and neglect while working at a family detention center in Karnes City, Texas. Olivia Lopez was among a panel of witnesses that included former detained mothers and mental health experts who shared upsetting accounts of life and work inside the detention centers, the stress of being locked up with their children and the potential long-term psychological impacts. Lopez, 57, who received her doctorate in social work in 2006, told the lawmakers that staff at the Karnes County Residential Center used the medical observation rooms to isolate mothers and children. She said she was asked to lie...

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