The stories about the kids ripped from their families thanks to Trump’s zero-tolerance policy toward immigrants continue to horrify us today. This time, a federal judge had to order the U.S. government to stop giving psychotropic medication to migrant children held at Shiloh Residential Treatment Center in Manvel, Texas, south of Houston. It seems more like an episode of American Horror Story, but it’s real.
Trump administration must stop giving psychotropic drugs to migrant children without consent, judge rules https://t.co/b6wKrdtJxB
— Washington Post (@washingtonpost) July 31, 2018
The Shiloh center is already notorious, with a long record documented by the Center for Investigative Reporting. Allegations of child abuse, physical restraints, and even the deaths of children in custody have been reported. The center is a locked facility with 24-hour surveillance and monitoring just like a juvenile detention center.
A doctor at the center who has prescribed psychotropic drugs for kids has been practicing without board certification, according to another report.
Following accounts of multiple witnesses and staff, U.S. District Judge Dolly Gee in Los Angeles has ordered the Trump administration to obtain a court order or parental consent going forward. She also ordered all children to be moved out of Shiloh except for kids who a licensed professional says are a “risk of harm” to themselves or others.
The children who testified reported feeling coerced to take the drugs. If they refused, they would have no hope of being set free or reunited with their parents.
Others said they saw staff holding down kids, prying open their mouths, and forcing them to take medication multiple times a day.
A parent said she knew that the staff had her contact information, but she was never consulted before her little girl Isabella was forced to take drugs repeatedly. The drugs made her so groggy that she had trouble walking and fell down.
The basic rights of the kids were violated according to other accounts. They couldn’t access drinking water. They weren’t allowed to have private phone calls. Some reported being abused physically and thrown to the ground by staff.
The drugs administered to the kids could have long-term health effects.
The Washington Post lists the drugs the kids were given against their will or their parent’s will:
“Court documents list Clonazepam, Divalproex, Duloxetine, Guanfacine, Latuda, Geodon, and Olanzapine among his medications.”
Without this judge to step in and stop them, who knows how long this would have continued?
The report comes days after U.S.Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) revealed her first-hand accounts of other child detention centers in Texas.
“What we saw was absolutely horrifying,” said Jayapal.
If you are a Republican, or if you failed to vote in the 2016 presidential election, ask yourself what part you played in enabling these types of anti-immigrant inhumane things to take place in our country today. Ask yourself what you can do to stop enabling it going forward.
See more in the video from USA TODAY below: