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Immigrant children forcibly drugged with ‘powerful’ psychotropics at Texas ‘treatment center’: lawsuit



In a new lawsuit, immigrant children detained at a government-funded facility in Texas described being forcibly drugged with psychotropic medicines that made them dizzy and unable to walk.

Reveal reported Wednesday that minors held at the Shiloh Treatment Center in Manvel, Texas — described in its Google+ listing as a “baby gulag” — were physically abused and given shots of  “powerful” psychiatric medications that “rendered them unable to walk, afraid of people and wanting to sleep constantly.”

In the affidavits, the children and their parents said workers at the facility told them they would not be allowed to leave or see their parents if they didn’t take the medicine, which was administered via shots. The children were allegedly told the shots were “vitamins.”

“The supervisor told me I was going to get a medication injection to calm me down,” one girl said. “Two staff grabbed me, and the doctor gave me the injection despite my objection and left me there on the bed.”

According to one mother, her child “fell repeatedly, hitting her head, and ended up in a wheelchair.” Another “described trying to open a window and being hurled against a door by a Shiloh supervisor, who then choked her until she fainted.”

“One child was prescribed 10 different shots and pills including the antipsychotic drugs Latuda, Geodon and Olanzapine, the Parkinson’s medication Benztropin, the seizure medications Clonazepam and Divalproex, the nerve pain medication and antidepressant Duloxetine, and the cognition enhancer Guanfacine,” the report noted.


Hundreds of pages of medical records were filed in the U.S. District Court in California in April. They were filed as part of an ongoing class action lawsuit against the government that alleges mistreatment of immigrant children in U.S. custody.

Forensic psychiatrist Mark. J. Mills assessed the records at Reveal’s requests, and found that Shiloh orderlies were given an “unusually wide berth” with dosage recommendations for the children in their care.

Maribel Hernandez, a Honduran asylum-seeker whose son was held at Shiloh after being referred for “psychological issues” at another facility, told Reveal her case worker sent her a video of the boy in which he appeared “completely hypnotized and lethargic.” She said she repeatedly objected to the medication, and never signed consent forms.

Shiloh received $19 million in federal funding after repeated allegations of abuse at the facility. In 2014, the Reveal report noted, Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) called for it to be shut down after a Houston Chronicle investigation revealed allegations of “physical violence, unreasonable and excessive use of physical restraints, administering emergency medications without notice to governmental authorities, and several deaths of minor children while in custody.”

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Senator Elizabeth Warren leads Democrats in spirited first 2020 debate



Ten Democrats clashed in the first debate of the 2020 presidential race Wednesday with Elizabeth Warren cementing her status as a top-tier candidate and several underdogs using the issue of immigration to clamor for the limelight.

The biggest American political debate since the 2016 presidential campaign is occurring over two nights in Miami, climaxing Thursday with former vice president Joe Biden squaring off against nine challengers, including number two candidate Bernie Sanders.

But Wednesday's first take was a spirited encounter between Democrats like ex-congressman Beto O'Rourke, Senator Cory Booker, former San Antonio mayor Julian Castro and New York Mayor Bill de Blasio on subjects as varied as health care, economic inequality, climate action, gun violence, Iran and immigration.

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Here are 4 winners and 9 losers from the first 2020 Democratic primary debate



With ten candidates on stage Wednesday, the opening debate of the 2020 Democratic primary in Miami was a packed mess. And this was only the first course in a two-part event — 10 more candidates will debate on the following night.

A crowded field makes it difficult to stand out, and that means that even after a big night like a debate, the most likely result is that not much changes. But the debate was still significant, giving candidates the chance to exceed, meet, or fall below expectations for their performances.

Here's a list — necessarily subjective, of course — of the people who came out on the top when the dust was settled, and those who came out on the bottom.

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Here are 3 ways Julián Castro stood out in the first Democratic Debate



There were many predictions going into the first Democratic debate on MSNBC, but no one predicted that Julián Castro would break out from the crowd.

Check out the top three ways Castro stood out from the crowd.


The former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development was the outright winner of the immigration section of the debate

It should "piss us all off," Castro said about the father and his little girl who were found face-down in the shores of the Rio Grande River this week. “It’s heartbreaking."

Castro is a second generation American who got into specifics on immigration policy, calling for an outright "Marshall Plan" style of action for Guatemala and Honduras. He joined with other Democrats calling for an end to President Donald Trump's family separation policy, but he then suggested ending the "metering" of legitimate asylum seekers.

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