No matter what you think of the Trump Administration, there can be little debate that children should not be separated from their parents merely because of the child’s immigration status. Despite the disdain for the immigration policies of the United States by many of its residents, the government persists on keeping undocumented children in detention facilities under deplorable conditions. Hopefully, the end to this policy that originated in a previous administration is in sight. Notwithstanding, litigation filed on behalf of some juveniles in U.S. immigration detention facilities allege that detainment officials are drugging the children without their consent by injecting the children with psychotropic drugs to control the child’s behavior.
The lawyers with Parker Waichman LLP find these allegations simply unacceptable. Every attorney with Parker Waichman LLP has dedicated his or her career to fighting tooth and nail to preserve the civil rights of every person of whom they represent. Our philosophy is that each human being residing within the borders of the United States, no matter how he or she arrived here, is guaranteed certain basic fundamental and inalienable rights. Drugging a person against their will is utterly unacceptable, but we find the behavior particularly objectionable when the person being injected is a child separated from his or her parents.
We want to speak with you if you have information about a member of your family or someone else who is or was in a U.S. immigration juvenile detention center and received unlawful psychotropic injections. Our illegal injection attorneys will vigorously pursue personal injury litigation against every party involved in unlawfully injecting your loved one to control his or her behavior. Your child could receive substantial financial compensation if you decide to aggressively pursue damages.
Class Action Lawsuits Shed Light On Unlawful Conduct
Litigation, especially class action lawsuits, has a tendency to expose information that governments and companies wish to conceal. That is precisely what occurred when children detained by U.S. immigration authorities and the government subcontractors who run the detainment facilities. According to affidavits filed in the class action litigation, immigrant children who are detained in a Texas facility evince horrific living conditions. The suit alleges that the facility administrators control the children’s behavior violently with physical abuse in addition to suffering the children to receive injections of medications that sedate the children. None of the children’s parents have consented to their children being given sedatives or psychotropic injections.
The class action lawsuit alleges that the facility in Texas called the Shiloh Detention Center violated a 1997 settlement agreement by its mistreatment of its detainees. The class action suit alleges misconduct by other youth detainment facilities run by the U.S. Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR). The documents filed by children who have been or are currently held in the offending facilities depict living situations which fall below any definition of habitable and describe a house of horrors as children suffer from abuse at the hands of their captors.
Every facility that houses children on behalf of the ORR has an obligation to ensure the safety and well-being of each child. Places like Shiloh and others located around the U.S. fall measurably below those standards. Youth detention facilities must provide care for their youthful detainees and provide care consistent with their vulnerable and impressionable age. Notwithstanding that obligation, Shiloh and other detention facilities drug their detainees when the children’s behavior becomes uncontrollable.
The affidavits filed by the children in the class action lawsuits allege that:
- Shiloh administrators gave one child 16 pills per day for reasons of which the child was unaware. Additionally, the child avers that the teachers and other staff members at the facility twisted the child’s arm behind the back and being the child’s wrist to compel compliance with behavioral standards. The child state that he screamed in agony when the staff member pinned his arm behind his back. In response, the medical personnel at Shiloh would administer an injection that would tranquilize him. The child reported feeling groggy, sleepy, and not having any strength after receiving the injection.
- Another child receives two pills daily for depression. The child was waiting for over one year to be reunited with his father.
These are just two of the numerous examples of abusive treatment and medical mismanagement by staff at the Shiloh Detention Center. Legal counsel for the children claims that the allegations contained in the affidavits are fairly representative of the treatment all of the children in U.S. custody in ORR receive. In other words, this treatment is the rule rather than the exception.
In spite of a 1997 agreement reached between a plaintiff in a lawsuit against the U.S. government, the detention facilities continue to violate the basic human rights of its child detainees. The agreement is known as a “Flores Settlement.” In 1997, the U.S. government agreed that any facility holding children on behalf of ORR must give the children a safe and sanitary place to live. Additionally, the Flores agreement stipulates that the government must provide enough food and water for the children and protect them from harm. Also, the governmental facilities must give the children medical attention according to the Flores agreement. Moreover, the child is entitled to a bond hearing while in custody.
An adult would be entitled to no less. However, the accommodations provided by any detention facility must be concerned with the needs of a child. That means taking into consideration the child’s physical and emotional maturity. These facilities must consider what emotional and psychological damage the child suffered as a result of the separation from their parents. The separation anxiety, loneliness, and loss surely take its toll on the children. Instead of counseling the children, the administrators numb them with injections and pills.
What is particularly concerning is that there is no parental consent sought before the staff gives powerful medications. These medications can become addictive and have dangerous side effects. The staff administers these drugs without regard to whether the parent would consent even if their consent was sought by the staff. Medical personnel would compound the problem by lying to the children by telling them that they could not be reunited with their parents until they complied with the medical protocols and “voluntarily” took the dangerous drugs. In essence, this coerces children who did not want to take the powerful medications into taking them.
The government argues that obtaining parental consent is unnecessary. Specifically, it contends that the Flores agreement has not been violated because the law in the State of Texas permits a psychiatrist to prescribe psychotropic drugs to a child without regard for parental consent when the child is an unaccompanied minor in certain circumstances. Texas law allows a psychiatrist to administer these potentially harmful drugs if the child is a threat of harm himself or herself or someone else. The government points to the absence of a contrary opinion by the State of Texas as evidence of compliance.
Parker Waichman LLP Fight for the Rights of Children
All people living in this country have the right to be free from governmental intrusion. Could anything be more intrusive than a governmental agent inserting a needle into the body of another human behind without that person’s consent or consent of that child’s caretakers? At Parker Waichman LLP, we believe that you should be free from those intrusions.
Call Parker Waichman LLP’s Immigration Injury lawyers if your child or a child in your family received injections without proper parental consent or suffered physical abuse at the hands of the staff members. Call 1-800-YOURLAWYER (1-800-968-7529) to discuss your case today. Act now before you lose the right to file a legal claim.
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