Roughly one in ten migrants claim to have experienced physical mistreatment while in U.S. custody, according to a report released on Tuesday.
Of the migrants who reported abuse, 30 percent said they have experienced a physical blow while in custody.
The report was authored by researchers from the left-leaning Immigration Policy Center, University of Arizona’s Center for Latin American Studies and the Department of Sociology at George Washington University. Researchers surveyed 1,110 recently repatriated migrants in six Mexican cities between 2009 and 2012.
The report comes at a time when deportations have reach historic highs and a once-promising debate on immigration reform in Congress has withered away.
Along with those deportations, there have also been deadly encounters on the border.
At least 20 Mexican nationals were killed by U.S. authorities near the border from 2010 to 2013, according to the report.
U.S. Border Patrol was the agency most cited in abuse cases, but, as the report notes, migrants being deported at the border are more likely to be in the custody of that agency.
A request for comment from Border Patrol was not immediately answered. Federal offices in Washington, D.C., were closed on Tuesday due to inclement weather.
Researchers also gave policy prescriptions, saying that U.S. agencies need to create ways for detainees to report abuses.
“In order to fully address this issue and all of its binational implications,” the report stated, “it is imperative that U.S. officials create transparent avenues with which to file complaints of mistreatment and ways in which interested parties can follow up on pending investigations.”