Chil­dren Held in U.S. De­ten­tion Poi­soned with Psy­chotropic Drugs

Trillions - - Contents -

Im­pris­on­ing chil­dren who don't pose a se­ri­ous risk to the public is il­le­gal and im­moral. Forcibly poi­son­ing those chil­dren with harm­ful drugs is also il­le­gal and im­moral. Yet, this is ex­actly what is hap­pen­ing in the United States.

Ac­cord­ing to a law­suit filed in April, chil­dren sent to at least one de­ten­tion facility were forced to take psy­chotropic drugs orally or by in­jec­tion without con­sent.

The law­suit was filed on be­half of sev­eral chil­dren held in the cen­ter.

Ac­cord­ing to the suit, the chil­dren at the Shiloh Treat­ment Cen­ter in Man­vel, Texas, have been forced to take drugs such as Clon­azepam, Di­val­proex, Ben­ztropine and Du­lox­e­tine, drugs used var­i­ously for de­pres­sion, seizures and even Parkin­son’s dis­ease. Many of these drugs are widely known to cause sui­ci­dal and homi­ci­dal be­hav­ior.

They were given the drugs al­legedly to con­trol the kids' be­hav­ior that re­sults from the ex­treme trauma of be­ing kid­napped and im­pris­oned away from their par­ents.

In all cases the med­i­ca­tions were given to the chil­dren without their par­ents’ ap­proval. In many cases, the chil­dren also had no idea what they were be­ing given; some ap­par­ently had been told they were be­ing given vi­ta­mins.

Some were forced to take the med­i­ca­tion. One of the chil­dren whose state­ments were in­cluded in the law­suit said they had been in­jected by force. “One or two staff hold my arms, and the nurse gives me an in­jec­tion,” the child re­ported.

The amount of med­i­ca­tion given was also beyond be­lief. Ac­cord­ing to re­ports, one child had been given as many as nine pills in the morn­ing and seven in the evening, again with no knowl­edge of what they were tak­ing.

As backup for the al­le­ga­tions, memos have been un­cov­ered which pro­vided de­tails of what hap­pens at the cen­ters. One notes that the Of­fice of Refugee Re­set­tle­ment (ORR) “rou­tinely ad­min­is­ters chil­dren psy­chotropic drugs without law­ful au­tho­riza­tion.” The memo goes on to say that, “When youth ob­ject to tak­ing such med­i­ca­tions, ORR com­pels them. ORR nei­ther re­quires nor asks for a par­ent’s con­sent be­fore med­i­cat­ing a child, nor does it seek law­ful author­ity to con­sent in par­ents’ stead. In­stead, ORR or facility staff sign “con­sent” forms anoint­ing them­selves with ‘author­ity’ to ad­min­is­ter psy­chotropic drugs to con­fined chil­dren.”

Be­sides the ob­vi­ous that this dis­re­gards even the most ba­sic of hu­man rights con­sid­er­a­tions and “com­mon de­cency”, what is be­ing done in the Shiloh cen­ter is a vi­o­la­tion of Texas state law, fed­eral law and in­ter­na­tional law and treaties. The same facility was also sub­ject to a de­mand to shut it down in 2014, when the Houston Chron­i­cle re­ported on “phys­i­cal vi­o­lence, un­rea­son­able and ex­ces­sive use of phys­i­cal re­straints, ad­min­is­ter­ing emer­gency med­i­ca­tions without no­tice to govern­men­tal au­thor­i­ties, and sev­eral deaths of mi­nor chil­dren while in cus­tody” there.

This is es­pe­cially heinous when one re­al­izes why many fam­i­lies brought these chil­dren with them across the U.s.-mex­ico bor­der. Many are com­ing from El Sal­vador, Gu­atemala and Hon­duras seek­ing le­git­i­mate asy­lum in the U.S. for fear for their lives be­cause of government re­pres­sion, gang vi­o­lence, and cor­rup­tion at home. Even worse is that of­ten U.S. ac­tions in sup­port of vir­tual dic­ta­tor­ships in those re­gions were re­spon­si­ble in part for the growth of gov­ern­ments hos­tile to these fam­i­lies. So it is no won­der the fam­i­lies in­volved had run from those coun­tries north and to the United States to find a bet­ter life ahead.

The law­suit filed on be­half of the chil­dren is an im­por­tant one de­serv­ing of solid an­swers as to what is re­ally hap­pen­ing with them. If the al­le­ga­tions are true, white col­lar fines should not be enough. Those in charge as well as those em­ployed who were, like those tried at Nurem­berg, “just fol­low­ing or­ders” should be pros­e­cuted to the fullest and put away for as long as pos­si­ble.

Trump sup­port­ers need to take a long look at them­selves in the mir­ror and ask them­selves if they are the kind of per­sons that re­ally con­done the im­pris­on­ment and poi­son­ing of chil­dren. They also need to re­al­ize that they may some day be held ac­count­able for the crimes of their com­man­der-inchief.

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