US court documents reveal – Immigrant children tied down, hooded, beaten, stripped and drugged under Obama

US court documents reveal – Immigrant children tied down, hooded, beaten, stripped and drugged under Obama

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Post-Blog

Democratic
Hypocrisy over the separation of child immigrants – they began it as a ‘Consequence
Delivery System’

Nothing
is more hypocritical than seeing the Democrat’s Senate leader, Charles
Schumer the New York Senator, waxing lyrical about how terrible Trump’s
separation of child immigrants is and what a blow it is to ‘American values.’ This
is the same Schumer who has defended Israel’s murder of over 120 unarmed
Palestinians in Israel’s turkey shoot in Gaza. It is the same Schumer who has
defended every Zionist barbarity and dehumanised Palestinians as the ultimate
‘other’.
It’s not enough to demand an end to family separation – there must be an end to the detention of migrant workers.

Now it turns out that the
Democrat’s outrage over Trump’s border policy is entirely synthetic and at one
with their support for Israel’s abuse of Palestinian children. It was under Obama, who deported over 2 million refugees, that the policy of child separation first began.  The articles below give
examples of the what these children have experienced in America’s prison estate
courtesy of Obama, Clinton and Schumer. Trump merely ramped up the policy and,
even worse, publicised and justified it.  Trump’s principal crime seems
to have been to try and justify the separation of children. If he had kept
quiet then  so would Senators Schumer,
Feinstein and all the other Democrat hypocrites.
Children like this were caged under Democrat administrations without a peep from the glitterati
We should bear this is in mind when
we listen to the hyperbolic and hypocritical denunciations of Trump by the
Democrats.  In the United States there
are two ruling capitalist parties, the differences between which are semantic
not principled.  Although people like
Bernie Sanders on the outer edge of the Democrats are not the same as the
Clintons and Obamas, mainstream Democrats like Hilary Clinton are no different
from the Republicans.  Both adhere to
both capitalism and the United State’s imperialist role in the world.  And that includes unswerving support for the Israeli
state, which today provides training for some of the United State’s most
murderous and racist police forces.
Amidst all the sound and fury last week, one simple demand was missing and that was an end to the detention of all immigrants and in particular child immigrants.

As it  used to be said, the Democrats are
the graveyard of all protest politics.

Tony Greenstein
The leader of the Democrats in the Senate, Charles Schumer, who openly supports Israel’s murder of unarmed demonstrators.  This hypocrite had nothing to say when Obama caged children from Latin America

There is no limit to the self-serving hypocrisy of Charles Schumer

Immigrant children tied down, hooded, beaten, stripped and drugged

By Patrick Martin
22 June 2018
Court documents made public in Virginia and Texas give
a glimpse of the systematic brutality being meted out to immigrant children in
both public and private jails. Children are strapped down, hooded and beaten,
or drugged by force, as part of the everyday procedure in what can only be
called the American Gulag.
An Associated Press report published Thursday gave
details of the abuses committed last year against young Latino migrants at the
Shenandoah Valley Juvenile Center near Staunton, Virginia. Lawyers for the
teenage victims sued the prison—a state facility run by a consortium of seven
towns and cities in the Shenandoah Valley—and a court hearing is set for July.
Migrant children were sent to Shenandoah detention centre in Virginia to be abused and tortured under Obama
Unfortunately Trump is quite right – it was the Democrats who began imprisoning and separating children in detention
According to a half-dozen sworn statements, given by
the victims in Spanish and then translated for filing with the federal court
for the Western District of Virginia, children as young as 14 were beaten while
handcuffed, tied down to chairs while stripped naked and hooded, and held for
long periods in solitary confinement, sometimes naked and cold.
All these are forms of torture practiced at Guantanamo
Bay and at CIA torture prisons around the world. These techniques have been
transferred back into the United States and unleashed on immigrant children,
who have been demonized by the Trump administration.
The lawsuit filed by the nonprofit Washington Lawyers’
Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs declares that young Latino
immigrants held at Shenandoah “are
subjected to unconstitutional conditions that shock the conscience, including
violence by staff, abusive and excessive use of seclusion and restraints, and
the denial of necessary mental health care.”
As a result of “malicious and sadistic applications of
force,”
the youth have “sustained
significant injuries, both physical and psychological.”
A Honduran youth sent to Shenandoah when he was 15
said in his statement, “Whenever they
used to restrain me and put me in the chair, they would handcuff me… [They]
strapped me down all the way, from your feet all the way to your chest, you
couldn’t really move… They have total control over you. They also put a bag
over your head. It has little holes; you can see through it. But you feel
suffocated with the bag on.”
Shenandoah was set up under Obama not Trump
A 15-year-old from Mexico who spent nine months at
Shenandoah described similar treatment.
They handcuffed
me and put a white bag of some kind over my head,”
he said, according to
his sworn statement. “They took off all
of my clothes and put me into a restraint chair, where they attached my hands
and feet to the chair. They also put a strap across my chest. They left me
naked and attached to that chair for two and a half days, including at night.”
A 14-year-old Guatemalan youth reported frequent
imprisonment in his tiny cell for up to 23 hours a day, as well as long periods
of physical restraint. “When they
couldn’t get one of the kids to calm down, the guards would put us in a chair—a
safety chair, I don’t know what they call it—but they would just put us in
there all day,”
he said in his sworn statement. “This happened to me, and I saw it happen to others, too. It was
excessive.”
A 17-year-old who fled Mexico to escape an abusive
father and drug cartel violence was arrested at the US border and passed
through several detention centers before arriving at Shenandoah, one of three
facilities in the United States with contracts from the Office of Refugee
Resettlement, part of the Department of Health and Human Services, to provide
“secure facilities” for young immigrants. The boy was frequently shackled,
usually with cloth bindings, and reported at least one violent strip search and
several beatings. He was driven to attempt suicide several times.
Other allegations include that the Latino youth
received worse food and facilities than local juvenile prisoners, mostly white,
and that meals were frequently cold and inadequate, leaving the children
hungry.
The AP interviewed an unnamed child development specialist
who had worked with teens at Shenandoah. “The
majority of the kids we worked with when we went to visit them were emotionally
and verbally abused. I had a kid whose foot was broken by a guard,”
she
said. “They would get put in isolation
for months for things like picking up a pencil when a guard had said not to
move. Some of them started hearing voices that were telling them to hurt people
or hurt themselves, and I knew when they had gotten to Shenandoah they were not
having any violent thoughts.”
Because the children held at Shenandoah were
unaccompanied minors, rather than separated from their families, there were
some suggestions in the media that they had gang connections that somehow
justified the brutal treatment. But according to the AP report, a program
director at the facility said the youth had been screened for gang connections
and were actually suffering from mental health issues resulting from trauma in
their home countries.
The acts of torture involved multiple guards at the
facility, which was run by a regional board but under the ultimate control of
the state government, headed throughout this period by Democratic Governor
Terry McAuliffe. The new governor, Democrat Ralph Northam, who took office
January 1, ordered a state investigation into the claims of abuse, but only
after the AP report became public Thursday.
Even younger children were targeted for abuse at a
Texas facility operated under contract with the Office of Refugee Resettlement,
according to a report published by the Center for Investigative Reporting and
the Texas Tribune Tuesday. The allegations were further
detailed in a court suit filed by the Center for Human Rights &
Constitutional Law.
The lawsuit charges that the Shiloh Treatment Center
in Manvel, Texas administered psychotropic drugs to immigrant children, who in
some cases were separated from their parents at the border. Neither the
children, some as young as nine years old, nor the parents gave consent to the
treatment, and in some cases, children were forcibly drugged as they fought and
screamed.
One report reads: “Some
children held at Shiloh reported being given up to nine different pills in the
morning and six in the evening, including antipsychotic drugs, antidepressants,
Parkinson’s disease medication and seizure medications. They were told they
would remain detained if they refused drugs, the lawsuit said. Children also
said that after taking the drugs, they experienced side effects that rendered
them fatigued and incapable of walking.”
The lawsuit charges: “ORR routinely administers children psychotropic drugs without lawful
authorization… When youth object to taking such medications, ORR compels
them. ORR neither requires nor asks for a parent’s consent before medicating a
child, nor does it seek lawful authority to consent in parents’ stead. Instead,
ORR or facility staff sign ‘consent’ forms anointing themselves with
‘authority’ to administer psychotropic drugs to confined children.”
The seven pills named in the court filings—clonazepam,
duloxetine, guanfacine, Geodon, olanzapine, Latuda and divalproex—are
medications used to control depression, anxiety, attention deficit disorder,
bipolar disorder, mood disorders, schizophrenia and seizures. This treatment
amounted to applying “chemical
straitjackets”
to subdue the children, rather than meeting medical needs,
the lawsuit charges.
According to the investigative reporting, the ORR paid
$3.4 billion to private organizations to hold immigrant children, and nearly
half of this, $1.5 billion, went to 13 companies that had been accused of
hundreds of serious violations of their responsibility to provide care. These
included failure to obtain medical treatment for accidents or illness, “inappropriate contact” between children
and staff (apparently of a sexual nature), and neglect.
These reports of horrific treatment of innocent
children do not just expose the savagery and sadism of individual guards,
administrators and other officials, or the greed of corporate bosses seeking to
join in the orgy of profiteering from federal contracts for the detention and
abuse of immigrants. What is revealed above all is the criminal character of
the American political elite, both Democrats and Republicans, who have
deliberately encouraged an atmosphere of brutality and terror as their
preferred method of “deterring” immigrants from crossing the US-Mexico border.
The responsibility, moreover, rests not just with the sociopathic bully in the
White House today, but also with his Democratic predecessor, responsible for
more deportations than any previous president.
Obama’s Department of Homeland Security chief Jeh
Johnson declared that the jailing of Central American refugees seeking asylum,
and the separation of parents and children, would have a positive effect in
reducing the sudden influx of refugees in 2014. It was Terry McAuliffe, the
longtime crony of Hillary Clinton, who presided over the torture of immigrant
teenagers at Shenandoah from 2014 to 2017.
The shift from Obama to Trump has not fundamentally
changed the policy of the US ruling class towards immigrants, which has always
been of an anti-democratic and brutal character. But in the hands of Trump and
his fascistic aide Stephen Miller, the brutality has become more systematic,
and it is accompanied by a campaign aimed at whipping up anti-immigrant racism
and hysteria over the purported danger that the United States will be
“overrun,” as Trump claimed in his speech Wednesday night to a rally in
Minnesota.
According to a report in the Wall
Street Journal
Thursday, the Trump administration awarded multiple
contracts involving tens of millions of dollars earlier this year to build
detention facilities for children. This confirms that the mass separation of
children from their parents, which followed the announcement of the “zero tolerance”
policy by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, was not an unexpected byproduct of
the new policy, but was planned and deliberate. It is a premeditated crime, the
state kidnapping of more than 2,400 children, for which Trump, Sessions,
Stephen Miller, Kirstjen Nielsen and other top officials should be prosecuted
and jailed.
Far from abandoning this policy—as media reports on
the executive order issued by Trump Wednesday suggested—the White House is
preparing to accelerate the mass detention of immigrants, including children. A
Pentagon spokesman said Thursday that military bases in Texas and Arkansas had
been reviewed as possible locations for housing as many as 20,000 immigrant
children, double the number currently in custody.

Immigrant
teens were allegedly abused and denied medical care at Virginia prison

Teens as young
as 14 allege they were beaten regularly, denied adequate medical treatment, and
had bones broken by prison guards.

Several immigrant teens at a Virginia juvenile prison detailed horrific allegations of abuse in newly revealed court filings. Above: A Honduran teenager during an interview at “Casa Alianza”, a shelter for Mexican and foreign minors deported from the United States, on June 12, 2014 in Mexico City. (CREDIT: OMAR TORRES/AFP/Getty Images)
Immigrant children being housed in a Virginia detention facility were
subjected to brutally abusive conditions, the Associated Press reported
Thursday.
The claims
were made public in a series of court filings against the Shenandoah Valley
Juvenile Center in Staunton, Virginia, which holds 58 secure beds for youths 12
to 17 years old, and has allegedly imprisoned a number of Latinx teens for
anywhere from a few months to several years.
The teens, some of whom are as young as 14, say they were sent to the
prison after being accused by U.S. immigration officials of belonging to gangs
like MS-13, a favorite topic of discussion for President Trump. Their
allegations detail horrific acts of violence, including broken bones, regular
beatings, and psychological abuse.
According to the AP, “Latino children were frequently punished by being
restrained for hours in chairs, with handcuffs and cloth shackles on their
legs. Often, the lawsuit alleged, the children were beaten by staff while
bound.”
“Whenever they used to restrain
me and put me in the chair, they would handcuff me. They also put a bag over
your head,”
said one Honduran immigrant who
was locked up in the prison when he was only 15 years old.
A former child-development specialist who was previously employed by
Shenandoah Valley, and spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because she
was not authorized to comment publicly, told reporters she “saw kids there with bruises and broken bones
they blamed on guards.”

Amanda Michelle
Gomez
, Joshua Eaton Jun
20, 2018, 5:52 pm
The filings allege that children were frequently denied adequate medical
care; one teen, a 17-year-old Mexican citizen detained at the U.S. southern border,
claimed that, after being diagnosed with three separate mental disorders,
including depression, he was given no further treatment to address the issues.
Some of the teens allege that they were locked in prison cells for most
of the day, barring a few hours each day during which they were given meals,
recreation time, or education courses. Others said they were never allowed to
go outside.
Shenandoah Valley lawyers have denied the allegations outlined in the
lawsuit, a hearing for which will be held July 3 in Virginia.
The alleged abuses further compound concerns from migrant rights groups
and immigration lawyers who have heard complaints about the facility and others
like it, and worry about the children detained and separated from their parents
at the U.S.-Mexico border who could soon be sent there.
Under the Trump administration’s zero-tolerance immigration policy,
anyone detained at the border without documentation is referred to authorities
for criminal prosecution, a change from past administrations, who treated
unauthorized border crossings as a misdemeanor. The policy makes no exceptions
for asylum-seekers, many of whom have been illegally turned away from the
border ports of entry.
Due to a 1997 court settlement, Flores v. Reno, officials are barred
from holding children in detention facilities for longer than 20 days. The
Trump administration has exploited that loophole to violently separate
immigrant children from their parents, under the guise of following the law,
sending kids to their own facilities or internment camps, sometimes without
their parents’ knowledge.
Trump signed an executive
order
Wednesday ordering border agents to keep families detained together
and asking the courts to change their view on Flores, which means that
indefinite detainment of families could be a possibility.
Currently, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is charged
with handling the children who have already been separated as well as thousands
of other unaccompanied immigrant minors. While the majority remain in detention
facilities — with children under the age of 12, including infants, being housed
in “tender
age
” prison camps — HHS also contracts with three secure detention centers,
including Shenandoah Valley, and several semi-secure facilities and psychiatric
treatment centers, to house youths it deems dangerous or disruptive.
As ThinkProgress
reported this week, that could include anyone from a child who has a fight, to
one with a suspected gang affiliation, to a teen in the middle of a mental
health crisis.
 Immigration
lawyers say they’re worried children currently suffering traumatic breakdowns
after being ripped from their parents’ care at the border may be labeled
“disruptive” and sent to places like Shenandoah Valley.
We haven’t seen any of the family
separation cases yet — probably just because I don’t know if any of them have
made their way to Virginia,”
Legal Aid lawyer Simon Sandoval-Moshenberg,
who works with children housed at the prison and another Virginia detention
facility, told ThinkProgress Wednesday. “But
I’m sure we will any day now.”
“Undoubtedly, children that are
ripped away from their parents at the border are experiencing an extreme form
of trauma that they are not equipped to handle,”
Jesse Hahnel, executive director of the National Center for Youth Law
added in an email. “This trauma may lead
to intense mental health distress that paves the path to their being stepped up
to more secure facilities.”
Once those children arrive at the facilities, they’re at risk of
suffering the kinds of alleged abuses detailed in the Shenandoah Valley lawsuit
— and more.
“We’ve heard children in secure
detention and staff-secure detention taking medication and not knowing the
names of the medication or what they’re for,”
Nithya Nathan-Pineau, a lawyer representing migrant children at two
secure detention facilities in Virginia, told ThinkProgress. “[They’re] also being told that if they
don’t take the medication, that will be counted against their behavior.”
She added that many of the children she had worked with previously were
not warned ahead of time that they were being transferred to the prisons from
their detention facilities, or given any chance to challenge the reasoning
behind their move.
“They may be given a written
notice of why they’re being stepped up, but they often, they don’t totally
understand it, or it’s not something that’s very clear to them
,” she said. “The process isn’t
very clear.”

 

 

 

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