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Judge orders migrant children removed from detention facility

Tennessee readers may be interested to learn that a U.S. district court judge has ordered the Trump administration to remove all underage migrants from a Texas detention center unless certain child welfare requirements are met. The order, which was issued on July 30, came in response to accusations of child abuse at the facility.

According to the judge, employees at the Shiloh Residential Treatment Center in Manvel are violating a 1997 court settlement by administering psychotropic drugs to minors without the consent of their parents and harshly punishing them during their detainment. For example, the employees reportedly denied one boy water for a long period of time and then abused him when he tried to leave his room to get some.

The judge ordered that a licensed psychiatrist or psychologist must evaluate all of the children at Shiloh and determine if they are a danger to themselves or others. If this condition is not met, all must be transferred from the facility. The judge also ordered that the center must improve its living conditions and comply with all Texas child welfare regulations. These changes include requiring a legal guardian to approve the administration of psychotropic drugs to minors and allowing children to make private phone calls and have additional free time. Shiloh issued a statement claiming the allegations about the facility have been investigated by various state, federal and international agencies and found to be untrue.

Asylum seekers and other immigrants may benefit from contacting an immigration attorney about their situation. An attorney could evaluate the case and represent a client's interests throughout the process. If an immigrant has been detained, legal counsel could work to obtain his or her release.

Source: USA Today, "Judge orders minors transferred out of immigration detention facility", Alan Gomez, July 31, 2018

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