Lawsuit Filings Reveal Immigrant Children Separated From Parents Are Being Forcibly Drugged

According to legal filings, immigrant children who are in U.S. custody are being forcibly injected with powerful psychotropic drugs to control their behavior.

This is almost too awful to believe. These kids are terrified. It should come as no surprise that some of them are acting out. But, instead of comforting these scared children, we are pumping them full of drugs. It’s unbelievable.

On Thursday, Newsweek reported,

“Immigrant children who were detained near Houston, and in some cases separated from their parents at the border, were forced by authorities to take a range of psychotropic drugs in a heavy-handed attempt to manage their trauma, according to a lawsuit made public on Wednesday.”

According to a lawsuit filed on April 23 in the U.S. District Court in California by the Los Angeles-based Center for Human Rights & Constitutional Law, children being detained at the Shiloh Treatment Center in Texas are being drugged regardless of their condition and without the parents’ consent. The lawsuit describes kids being held down and injected. And it alleges that children were told that they would not be released or see their parents unless they took the medication. The children were also told that the psychiatric drugs were vitamins. Some of the drugs they are using aren’t even approved for use in children.

Reveal News reported on Tuesday that a child held at the facility told lawyers, “The supervisor told me I was going to get a medication injection to calm me down. Two staff grabbed me, and the doctor gave me the injection despite my objection and left me there on the bed.”

Parents, and some of the children themselves, told attorneys that the drugs made the kids unable to walk, afraid of people, and made them sleep excessively.

“One mother said her child fell repeatedly, hitting her head, and ended up in a wheelchair. A child described trying to open a window and being hurled against a door by a Shiloh supervisor, who then choked her until she fainted.”

“Another child recounted being made to take pills in the morning, at noon and night. The child said “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.””

Carlos Holguin, a lawyer representing the Center for Human Rights & Constitutional Law, said, “If you’re in Shiloh then it’s almost certain you are on these medications. So if any child were placed in Shiloh after being separated from a parent, then they’re almost certainly on psychotropics.”

The lawsuit says that taking multiple psychotropic drugs at the same time can seriously injure children. And it calls for oversight to make sure that medication is not being used as “chemical straight jackets.”

Forensic psychiatrist Mark J. Mills said, “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.” He added, “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.”

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