Lawsuit alleges drugs were forcibly administered to migrant children

A lawsuit made public on Wednesday alleges that immigrant children held at a detention center near Houston were forcibly administered drugs. 

Immigrant children at Shiloh Treatment Center, a government contractor that houses unaccompanied migrant kids, were held down and told they would not be able to see their parents unless they took the psychiatric drugs, according to documents filed April in U.S. District Court in California.

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


The court documents also say that workers administering the drugs at the center told children that some of the pills were vitamins. According to filings, one child said “the staff told me that some of the pills are vitamins because they think I need to gain weight. The vitamins changed about two times, and each time I feel different.”

One child was given a variety of drugs, including seizure medications, antipsychotic and antidepressant drugs, and the Parkinson's medication known as Benztropine. 

Children said the drugs had negative effects on them, including leaving them unable to walk, fatigued, and fearing other people. 

The Hill has reached out to Shiloh Treatment Center and the Office of Refugee Resettlement for comment. 

The documents were filed in connection with a pending class-action lawsuit against Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsOvernight Hillicon Valley — Apple issues security update against spyware vulnerability Stanford professors ask DOJ to stop looking for Chinese spies at universities in US Overnight Energy & Environment — Democrats detail clean electricity program MORE and the Trump administration that alleges poor treatment of migrant children being held in federally run facilities, Reveal reported.

The lawsuit comes as the Trump administration faces backlash over its "zero tolerance" policy that led to the separation of thousands of immigrant children from their parents at the U.S.–Mexico border. 

President TrumpDonald TrumpJulian Castro knocks Biden administration over refugee policy Overnight Energy & Environment — League of Conservation Voters — Climate summit chief says US needs to 'show progress' on environment Five takeaways from Arizona's audit results MORE gave in to intense bipartisan pressure on Wednesday when he signed an executive order intended to end family separations at the border. 

“We’re going to have strong, very strong borders, but we’re going to keep the families together,” Trump said. “I didn’t like the sight or the feeling of families being separated.”

The administration had previously argued that the policy was a deterrent to prevent migrants from illegally crossing the border.