Diana Shaw: Immigrant Children Given Psychotropic Drugs

Letters to the Editor
Letters to the Editor

I just read a Reuters article that warrants investigation. “Immigrant children are being routinely and forcibly given a range of psychotropic drugs at U.S. government-funded youth shelters to manage their trauma after being detained and in some cases separated from parents, according to a lawsuit.”

Irresponsible psychotropic medication could cause permanent brain damage. This dystopian nightmare is being perpetrated on children! If the administration was not prepared to handle children, they should not have instituted this policy.

I hope any legislation quickly reunites families and releases the children from what can only be described as a historically unmatched governmental over-reach, a deranged shortsighted madness. Slave children in Antebellum America were ripped from their families, and World War II Japanese internment camps are a stain on our nation. But, a government-sponsored program that captures and drugs children, babies, who can’t possibly be considered a threat to anyone, is akin to what we’d expect from the worst and lowest authoritarian dictatorships.

I would also like to address a couple of issues raised by another writer who is obviously so full of rage and propaganda that he’s not taken the time to check his facts. Progressives dubbed Obama “deporter in chief” because of the large number of deportations during his administration. Neither Obama nor Bush, however, made it a practice of separating children from their parents pending asylum hearings. Seeking asylum is not a crime worthy of imprisonment. It is a misdemeanor to enter the country illegally. Like jaywalking. Anyone who has been convinced that incarcerating babies will save them has a problem. Ripping them away from their mothers and drugging them constitutes nothing short of torture.

The way to address our southern border refugee problem, and it is indeed a problem for all concerned, is to fix the countries from which the refugees are fleeing. If it is OK to invade faraway territories like Iraq and Afghanistan, it is worth working with neighbors to figure out how to stem the flow of people fearing for their lives? (And it would be cheaper, too.) Working with stable governments like Canada to absorb the flow of humanity is a possibility. This reasoned and rational approach would offer potential solutions. Building walls and tearing children from their families is not a reasonable deterrent. If I were fleeing for my life from a danger so horrific that it led me to walk across Mexico to get to the border, and that border was closed, the first thing I would do is figure out how to get on a boat, or find a tunnel.

Freaking out over babies and endorsing their torture will lead to nothing more than tragedy. If the administration is willing to drug and torture babies, none of us is safe.

Diana Shaw


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