A federal judge reportedly ordered the Trump administration on Monday to stop administering psychotropic medication to migrant children without obtaining permission from their parents or guardians, finding that the practice violated child welfare law.
The Washington Post reported that U.S. District Judge Dolly Gee in Los Angeles ordered that officials must get consent or a court order to give the medication to migrant children. The psychotropic medications can still be given without permission under emergency circumstances.
Gee also ordered that the migrant children be removed from the Texas facility where the drugs were administered, Shiloh Residential Treatment Center in Manvel, except for those found to be a danger to themselves or others, according to the newspaper.
Officials had said the children were only given the medication on “an emergency basis” when a child’s “extreme psychiatric symptoms” became dangerous, the Post reported
The judge reportedly noted that the children had testified they were given the drugs “every morning and every night,” and wrote that staff “could not have possibly” provided the medications on an emergency basis every day
The migrant children previously testified that staff did not tell them the drugs they were given or why, and some said they were forcibly injected with the medication, according to the Post.
The judge also reportedly found that the facility had violated the 1997 Flores settlement, which dictates the treatment of detained immigrant children, by engaging in practices that are “not necessary for the protection of minors or others.”
“All of the widely distributed allegations about Shiloh were found to be without merit,” the center wrote in a statement on its website. “The children have been found to be properly cared for and treated. Shiloh Treatment Center has a specific treatment purpose within the federal system. It does not participate in border actions.”
BY JACQUELINE THOMSEN – 07/31/18