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Reveal @reveal
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1/ NEW: The warning flags were waving blood red.

Three children had died after being physically restrained at rural Texas shelters run by the same man, Clay Dean Hill.

Yet the U.S. gov’t in 2009 gave him a lucrative new business: immigrant children.…
2/ Hill is a one-time longshoreman-turned millionaire childcare entrepreneur specializing in vulnerable children.

Our new story shows his centers had a long history of problems:

*Staff beatings
*Sexual abuse
*Children’s deaths
3/ That was before the U.S. government started sending immigrant children his way. All told, it has paid his Shiloh Treatment Center more than $33 million for the care of these children.
4/ The government maintained that the conditions at Shiloh are perfectly appropriate for housing immigrant kids.

We reported in June that Shiloh was drugging immigrant children against their will, without their parents’ consent.…
5/ The dark history of death and abuse at Hill’s rural outpost for troubled children was no secret.

Members of Congress called for Shiloh to be shut down, the local DA issued warnings and there were multiple exposés – like this one from @HoustonChron:…
6/ The government’s defense of Shiloh also points to a fundamental problem with federal oversight.

In court filings this year, government lawyers made it clear the U.S. puts much of its faith in state officials to monitor immigrant shelters such as Shiloh.
7/ But we found that TX licensing officials apparently failed to implement their own regulations when they shut down Hill’s Daystar Residential facility and allowed Shiloh to continue.

The law should've stopped Hill from operating any residential childcare centers for 5 years:
8/ It was a far-reaching failure that let Hill salvage his operation.

Just as Texas stopped sending its foster children to Hill, the federal government was tossing him a new source of money: immigrant children.
9/ Some specifics of what happened before the government sent Hill’s business millions:

Dangerous use of restraints and physical abuse.

Children died after staff members held them down. One was held down until she vomited, turned blue and asphyxiated.…
10/ On several occasions over the years, Texas investigators found that employees at Hill’s facilities slapped, hit and kicked children. In one case, an employee bit a child.…
11/ A supervisor at Hill’s Daystar facility instructed seven developmentally delayed residents to fight, using snacks as a reward for the winner.

The staff “laughed and cheered,” according to state records.…
12/ “It was to a point where you got beat so much that you felt like you deserved it,” said Brielle Gillis, a former resident.
13/ The federal funding started a couple months before a male caretaker in his 40s was caught preying on a 15-year-old girl from California, sexually abusing her at one of Hill’s all-girl dormitories.

The caretaker is now a convicted sex offender.
14/ “It shows you how disgraceful the place was, letting a man sleep with the girls,” said the former resident, now 25, who told her story publicly for the first time.…
15/ Federal officials have continued to insist that Shiloh didn’t need more oversight.

“I’ve witnessed firsthand the good work they do throughout the U.S.,” said Scott Lloyd, director of the Office of Refugee Resettlement, in June.
16/ They’ve fought hard to keep it open, accepting immigrant kids. And federal dollars.
17/ A federal judge finally had to step in.

On July 30, U.S. District Judge Dolly Gee ordered the federal government to stop drugging immigrant children without proper consent and to remove them from Shiloh:…
18/ As we’ve previously reported, Shiloh is just one of scores of migrant detention centers with histories of serious allegations against them.

Despite that, they’ve continued receiving children – and millions of dollars.…
19/ We’re staying on this story.

We’ll email you the latest updates as they develop, as well as all of our big investigations. Just sign up here:
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