Judge orders changes at Texas immigrant detention facility

Judge orders changes at Texas immigrant detention facility

The Trump administration’s controversial immigration policies suffered another legal setback on July 30 when a federal judge ordered that all children being detained at the Shiloh Residential Treatment Center in Texas be removed from the facility unless a psychiatrist or psychologist determines that they pose a risk to either themselves or others. The judge also ordered the Department of Health and Human Services to no longer administer powerful psychotropic drugs to children unless they have obtained permission from their parents or legal guardians.

The judge made the rulings after hearing accounts of children being denied water, prevented from making telephone calls and being prescribed drugs including Prozak and Risperdal without their parents’ consent. The DHSS says that secure facilities like Shiloh are necessary to deal with children who could harm themselves or others or suffer from serious mental health conditions. The ruling comes less than a month after another California federal judge ordered the Trump administration to reunite thousands of immigrant families separated at the U.S.-Mexico border.

While the judge did not order the Manvel immigration detention facility shut down, she did order a series of policy modifications designed to bring conditions at the center into line with rules for the treatment of immigrant children established in 1997. The DHHS must now comply with all Texas child welfare laws and consult with parents or legal guardians before psychotropic drugs are administered.

Many of the families seeking entry into the United States are fleeing violence, political upheaval or persecution in their home countries. Attorneys with immigration law experience could help immigrants in such situations to prepare their petitions for asylum and gather the evidence needed to establish that their fears are legitimate. Attorneys could also advocate on behalf of immigrants facing deportation to unstable or dangerous countries.

Source: USA Today, “Judge orders minors transferred out of immigration detention facility”, Alan Gomez, July 31, 2018

Austin Immigration Attorney

Since 2005, Austin Immigration Attorney Mark Kinzler has successfully helped hundreds of immigrants and their families assure the American dream by helping them navigate through the complex immigration system in the United States.