Despite a federal judge ordering in July that the U.S. government stop giving undocumented children in migrant shelters psychotropic medications, the practice is continuing, civil rights attorneys said in a court filing on Friday.
Attorneys from the Center for Human Rights and Constitutional Law said that children at the Shiloh Residential Treatment Center in Texas and other migrant shelters run by the federal Office of Refugee Resettlement say they are still being administered "psychotropic drugs without informed parental consent or court order." The government is "almost certainly not complying" with a California federal judge's July 30 order, the lawyers said, offering written statements from four children and one child's aunt about the medication they are being given inside Shiloh.
A 17-year-old whose name was redacted said they are given three medications in the morning, including Zoloft, and four at night. The teen sees a doctor every two weeks, and "he tells me the drugs I need to take, but doesn't explain why," the teenager wrote on Oct. 18. "The drugs make me feel really tired and sluggish. I have trouble concentrating in class. Sometimes I have stomach pain and a lot of headaches. Sometimes I feel numb on one side of my body. I tell the doctor about these problems, and he says it is all normal." The Department of Health and Human Services, which oversees the Office of Refugee Resettlement, told CBS News the agency will submit a reply to the court filing on Friday. Catherine Garcia