A few days ago, Fox News’ Laura Ingraham callously brushed off what she called “faux liberal outrage” over the Trump administration’s use of concentration camps to detain migrant children separated from their parents at the border.
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Ingraham asserted that there was nothing wrong with these “rooms made of chain link” because the conditions within were basically like “summer camp.” Ingraham failed to respond to calls from activists who suggested that she send her kids there for the summer and see what they think, but it did help bring attention to how little anyone outside of ICE knew of the conditions inside the centers.
A new report from Reveal News torches Ingraham’s claims, as they detail legal filings from children once held in the facilities. According to the filings, the migrant children were forcibly injected with medications that made them dizzy, listless, and even incapacitated with powerful psychiatric drugs.
The filings come from children formerly held at Shiloh Treatment Center, a government contractor south of Houston used to jail minors. The children describe being held down and injected after being told they would not be released or allowed to see their parents unless they took the medication which orderlies called “vitamins.”
What’s worse, it seems that these kids weren’t simply being sedated – the medication chosen left some children unable to walk, afraid of others and constantly tired per the affidavits filed on April 23 in a U.S. District Court in California.
“The supervisor told me I was going to get a medication injection to calm me down,” one girl claimed after her mother reported the child fell repeatedly before hitting her head and ending up in a wheelchair. “Two staff grabbed me,” she explained, “and the doctor gave me the injection despite my objection and left me there on the bed.”
Another child detailed the administration of pills three times a day, with breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
“The staff told me that some of the pills are vitamins because they think I need to gain weight. The vitamins changed about two times, and each time I feel different,” the child said.
Shiloh is one of 71 companies that receives federal funding from the government to jail these children, meaning Shiloh is one of 71 companies profiting from the practice.
Reveal enlisted the help of forensic psychologist Mark J. Mills to assess 420 pages of children’s medical records and statements filed in the California judicial system.
“You don’t have to be a rocket scientist here; it looks like they’re trying to control agitation and aggressive behavior with antipsychotic drugs,” Mills found.
Mills’ practice is located in the Washington, D.C. area, and he has been an advocate for immigrant rights for some time. In 2008, he acted as an expert witness for a lawsuit that stopped the federal government from forcibly administering antipsychotic drugs to deportees.
“You don’t need to administer these kinds of drugs unless someone is plucking out their eyeball or some such. The facility should not use these drugs to control behavior. That’s not what antipsychotics should be used for. That’s like the old Soviet Union used to do.”
One child in particular was prescribed enough shots and pills to take out a small elephant. The child was forced to ingest the antipsychotic drugs Latuda, Geodon and Olanzapine, the Parkinson’s medication Benztropine, the seizure medications Clonazepam and Divalproex, the nerve pain medication and antidepressant Duloxetine, and the cognition enhancer Guanfacine.
All because the kids get so upset to be separated from their parents that ICE agents wished to “calm them.” In Mills’ opinion, recommendations at Shiloh gave orderlies far too much leeway in the final dosage administered.
Antipsychotic, antianiexty, and antidepressant drug regimens are to be closely monitored by a licensed psychiatrist in order to select a dosage that will help the patient cope with the mental illness they face. In the case of Shiloh, the haphazard administration of medication created a cycle where stronger and stronger medications are required to create the desired effect.
Medical records included in the court exhibits back up this claim, according to Mills:
“They feel like shit. They feel like they have given up their own control. The long-term complications are weight gain and developing adult onset diabetes. These drugs are not benign.”
As this article was written, Trump “fixed” the issue of family separation at the border with an executive order, effectively ending the policy he started but “didn’t start because it was the Democrat’s law” but also “the policy never existed” but also “it was a deterrent and deterrents are good.”
Regardless of what parameters are contained within the executive order, children will still be held in these abhorrent conditions. Border security might be an essential piece of national security, but not at this cost.
ICE and all of its child jails must be abolished immediately; there’s no need for behavior like this in a civilized society.
2/ Children report being held down and injected.
The lawsuit alleges that children were told they would not be released or see their parents unless they took medication and that they only were receiving vitamins.https://t.co/k8KiTiZQbO
— Reveal (@reveal) June 20, 2018