torturing latin immigrant children: a growth industry

(Or: how many sadistic sociopaths can dance on the head of a pin?)

From Patrick Martin at June 22: ‘US court documents reveal Immigrant children tied down, hooded, beaten, stripped and drugged’

“Court documents made public in Virginia and Texas give a glimpse of the systematic brutality being meted out to immigrant children in both public and private jails. Children are strapped down, hooded and beaten, or drugged by force, as part of the everyday procedure in what can only be called the American Gulag.

An Associated Press report published Thursday gave details of the abuses committed last year against young Latino migrants at the Shenandoah Valley Juvenile Center near Staunton, Virginia. Lawyers for the teenage victims sued the prison—a state facility run by a consortium of seven towns and cities in the Shenandoah Valley—and a court hearing is set for July.

According to a half-dozen sworn statements, given by the victims in Spanish and then translated for filing with the federal court for the Western District of Virginia, children as young as 14 were beaten while handcuffed, tied down to chairs while stripped naked and hooded, and held for long periods in solitary confinement, sometimes naked and cold.”

Patrick rightfully notes that these forms of torture are practiced at CIA torture prisons and Guantanamo Bay, and have boomeranged back to amerika to be unleashed on immigrant children, no less, as Trump further demonizes Latino immigrants with his and Beauregard’s ‘Zero Tolerance’ policies .  The lawsuit is being brought by nonprofit Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs which declares that “they are subjected to unconstitutional conditions that shock the conscience, including violence by staff, abusive and excessive use of seclusion and restraints, and the denial of necessary mental health care.” As a result of “malicious and sadistic applications of force,” the youth have “sustained significant injuries, both physical and psychological.”

A 15-year-old Honduran youth said in his statement that he was handcuffed, put in a restraint chair, strapped down from his chest to his feet, a suffocating bag with eye holes put over his head…he said they had full control over him.

A 15-year-old from Mexico who’d spent time there reported similar treatment, except that he was stripped naked, his hands strapped to the chair instead, and was left for two days and nights like that.  A 14-year-old Guatemalan kid reported he’d often been stuck in a tiny cell for 23 hours a day, and that he and other kids were strapped into restraint chairs ‘when the guards couldn’t get them to calm down’

”A 17-year-old who fled Mexico to escape an abusive father and drug cartel violence was arrested at the US border and passed through several detention centers before arriving at Shenandoah, one of three facilities in the United States with contracts from the Office of Refugee Resettlement, part of the Department of Health and Human Services, to provide “secure facilities” for young immigrants. The boy was frequently shackled, usually with cloth bindings, and reported at least one violent strip search and several beatings. He was driven to attempt suicide several times.

Other allegations include that the Latino youth received worse food and facilities than local juvenile prisoners, mostly white, and that meals were frequently cold and inadequate, leaving the children hungry.”

The unaccompanied minors at Shenandoah were not gang members, and had been screened for such connections, and that their mental health issues were a result of the traumas from their home countries.

This particular Dept. of Health and Human Services’ ‘Office of Refugee Resettlement’ gulag was run by a regional board, but under the watch of Democrat Gov. Terry McCauliffe.  His successor, Democrat Gov. Ralph Northam, ordered an investigation after he’d read the AP report.

Governor orders probe of abuse claims by immigrant children’, AP yesterday

“Gov. Ralph Northam announced the probe in a tweet hours after The Associated Press reported the allegations. They were included in a federal civil rights lawsuit with a half-dozen sworn statements from Latino youths held for months or years at the Shenandoah Valley Juvenile Center. The AP report also cited an adult who saw bruises and broken bones the children said were caused by guards.

Northam, a Democrat, said the allegations were disturbing and directed the state’s secretary of public safety and homeland security and the Department of Juvenile Justice to report back to him “to ensure the safety of every child being held there.”

In court filings, lawyers for the detention facility have denied all the allegations of physical abuse. The incidents described in the lawsuit occurred from 2015 to 2018, during both the Obama and Trump administrations.

“Robert Carey, who served as director of Refugee Resettlement under the Obama administration, said Tuesday he only heard about the complaints at the Shenandoah center after he left office in January 2017. Had he known, Carey said, he “would have been all over that trying to figure out what needed to be done, including termination of contracts.””

Yeah, yeah, yeah…Mark Warner, Tim Kaine, even R House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte all said they were ‘deeply troubled by the report’ and by gum, they’d get to the bottom of it!

The AP report had noted that some of the youth had been screened as having multiple mental health issues, but weren’t given meds that might have helped alleviate their depressions, anxieties, fears, and acting out.

On the other end of the spectrum, in Texas: ‘Immigrant children forcibly injected with drugs, lawsuit claims’, June 20, 2018

“Children held at Shiloh Treatment Center, a government contractor south of Houston that houses immigrant minors, have described being held down and injected, according to the federal court filings. The lawsuit alleges that children were told they would not be released or see their parents unless they took medication and that they only were receiving vitamins.

Parents and the children themselves told attorneys the drugs rendered them unable to walk, afraid of people and wanting to sleep constantly, according to affidavits filed April 23 in U.S. District Court in California.”

Shiloh is among 71 companies that receive funds from the federal government to house and supervise immigrant children deemed unaccompanied minors. These are the places set up to receive the more than 2,000 children separated from their parents in the past six weeks under the new Trump administration policy as they leave temporary way stations at the border.

“An investigation by Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting found that nearly half of the $3.4 billion paid to those companies in the last four years went to homes with serious allegations of mistreating children. In nearly all cases reviewed by Reveal, the federal government continued contracts with the companies after serious allegations were raised.

At Reveal’s request, forensic psychiatrist Mark. J. Mills assessed materials from 420 pages of children’s medical records and statements filed in California federal court this April.

“You don’t have to be a rocket scientist here; it looks like they’re trying to control agitation and aggressive behavior with antipsychotic drugs,” said Mills, who practices in the Washington, D.C., area and was an expert witness for a lawsuit that in 2008 stopped the federal government from forcibly administering antipsychotic drugs to deportees.

“You don’t need to administer these kinds of drugs unless someone is plucking out their eyeball or some such. The facility should not use these drugs to control behavior. That’s not what antipsychotics should be used for. That’s like the old Soviet Union used to do.”

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

Red Kahina on Twitter had posited that it was Joseph Mengele experimentation; I take her meaning, even if they didn’t keep proper ‘notes’.

“Shiloh already had a reputation for mistreating children. In December 2014, Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Houston, called for Shiloh to be shut down, citing reports from the Houston Chronicle 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,” she said in a statement.

But the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services continued sending children and funds to Shiloh – a total of more than $19 million after the congresswoman called for its closure, according to federal payment records.”

Shiloh has contracted to house immigrant children since 2013. Last year, the most lucrative yet under its agreement, Shiloh collected $5.6 million.”

Seventy other companies receive federal funds to ‘supervise’ unaccompanied minors, and are set up to receive another 2,000 children separated from their parents over the past six weeks once they leave the temporary way stations at the border.

“An investigation by Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting found that nearly half of the $3.4 billion paid to those companies in the last four years went to homes with serious allegations of mistreating children. In nearly all cases reviewed by Reveal, the federal government continued contracts with the companies after serious allegations were raised.”

But wait!  Hadn’t Boss Tweet rescinded his order to separate children from their parents?  Not according to Patrick Martin quoting the Wall Street Urinal (that link I hadn’t bothered searching for):

“According to a report in the Wall Street Journal Thursday, the Trump administration awarded multiple contracts involving tens of millions of dollars earlier this year to build detention facilities for children. This confirms that the mass separation of children from their parents, which followed the announcement of the “zero tolerance” policy by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, was not an unexpected byproduct of the new policy, but was planned and deliberate. It is a premeditated crime, the state kidnapping of more than 2,400 children, for which Trump, Sessions, Stephen Miller, Kirstjen Nielsen and other top officials should be prosecuted and jailed.”

Far from abandoning this policy—as media reports on the executive order issued by Trump Wednesday suggested—the White House is preparing to accelerate the mass detention of immigrants, including children. A Pentagon spokesman said Thursday that military bases in Texas and Arkansas had been reviewed as possible locations for housing as many as 20,000 immigrant children, double the number currently in custody.”

A bonus of sorts: ‘Philip May and family profit from Trump’s caging of children in detention centers’, RT 22 Jun, 2018

“Capital Group, the company of UK PM’s husband Philip May, profited from Donald Trump’s caging of children in immigration detention centers. The centers are run by General Dynamics, which is partly owned by May’s investment firm.

General Dynamics has been assisting the US Office of Refugee Resettlement in processing immigrant-children cases during President Trump’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy. As many as 2,000 children are reported to have been separated from their parents in just six weeks under the controversial policy. A distressing audio clip of children sobbing went viral on social media.”

Read the rest for other ‘defense’ contracting corporations in which he owns controlling shares. Ptui, you Profiteering Masters of War.  ‘Do you think that your money can buy back your $ouls?’

(cross-posted at

7 responses to “torturing latin immigrant children: a growth industry

  1. morning updates:

    The American gulag: US Navy planning to build military camps to jail 120,000 immigrants’,

    “A draft memo leaked to Time magazine Friday reveals preparations by the United States Navy to build sprawling internment camps to house over 120,000 undocumented immigrants. Massive camps housing nearly 50,000 each are being proposed in Northern and Southern California, close to the country’s largest immigration populations, with an initial 25,000 to be housed on military bases in Alabama.
    The capacity of the new facilities would match the total number of Japanese and Japanese-Americans detained during World War Two. This follows a separate Department of Defense announcement Thursday that the military will erect detention camps on four Army bases in Texas and Arkansas that will hold another 20,000 migrant children.

    The establishment of military prison camps on American soil marks an ominous milestone in US history. These are being erected to detain not only immigrants, but also striking workers, protesters against police violence, and all who resist conditions of deepening exploitation, war and dictatorship. This police state policy is aimed at the entire working class.

    Indicative of the complicity of the corporate media in these dictatorial moves, neither NBC, ABC nor CBS mentioned the proposal for the Navy to set up concentration camps on their Friday evening news broadcasts.
    The internal memo details plans to construct “temporary and austere” tent camps to house 25,000 undocumented migrants immediately, with massive facilities to come later. Under the proposal, 25,000 beds would be built within weeks at two Navy airfields near Mobile, Alabama—Navy Outlying Field Wolf in Orange Beach and Navy Outlying Field Silverhill—at an estimated cost of $233 million for six months of operation.

    The document also proposes construction of two internment camps in California that would each house up to 47,000 detained immigrants. One would be located on the former site of Naval Weapons Station Concord, near San Francisco, and the other would be built at Camp Pendleton, the nation’s largest Marine Corps base on the coast of California between San Diego and Los Angeles.
    The memo also calls for further study of a proposal to detain an unspecified number of undocumented workers at the Marine Corps Air Station outside of Yuma, Arizona.”

    the Time mag coverage:
    ‘Exclusive: Navy Document Shows Plan to Erect ‘Austere’ Detention Camps’

    via the popular resistance newsletter: ‘Immigration lawyer recounts a conversation with Obama about the border crisis that he says ‘shook me to my core‘, businessinsider, june 20

    did rachel maddow andMSNC cover that? or the torture of immigrant chirren under O? a lot of coverage…blamed it on trump.

    R. Andrew Free argued on Twitter that the fallout from the sounds and images from locations along the southern US border and detention centers where migrants are being held were an extension of practices that began under President Barack Obama.
    The lawyer recounted a 2015 exchange with Obama, during which Free said he implored the president to close two detention centers in southern Texas out of concern for the women and children being held there.

    Those detention centers, in Dilley and Karnes City, were opened as part of the Obama administration’s effort to house the migrants who had reached the US seeking asylum from the ongoing violence in Central America.

    Free recalled the conditions he witnessed at the detention centers where some of the women and children were held.
    “I remember hearing the constant, violent coughing and sickness of small children, and the worry of their mothers who stood in the sun outside the clinic all day only to be told their kids should ‘drink water,'” Free tweeted. “I remember nearly doubling over when I saw the line of strollers.”

  2. on a related note, Italy & its Roma & Sinti:
    25 years after the fall of communism & Nazi-style fascism is taking over all over.

    wonder why certain peeps in the US perk up with peak paranoia when they overhear even jokes about FEMA camps? cuz they’s crazy, that’s why.

    I wasted some electrons arguing with some “Constitution 1st” mancave dwellers (i.e., 2nd amendment types) that their anti-gov/anti-police state zeal is very selective in that they are usually super keen on the gov’t kicking immigrant children in the face forever with Big Bro’s black boot. and they are happy with all the bureaucracy that this crap involves. who knew that anti-gov’t paranoia & trigger-fingering was not a solid basis for analysis?

    I wonder why the NYT crowd is now giving so much attention to the issue of children. this horror show didn’t start with Trump. well, we do notice no images of the horror show in Yemen et al, so there’s that distraction thing as usual. we don’t see the bombing b/c of the children in cages. The MSM coverage may also be a softening up of the populace to all this incarceral shit. We are bombarded with these stories and meanwhile war with Iran (or the like) is afoot so when that monstrosity begins, the populace will no longer care about illegals.

    i’m still all for making as many anchor babies, as many marriages (“fake” or not) b/n the indocumentados & the rest of us as possible. flood the zone. we are going to screw our way to social justice. watch the churches’ & Jeff Sessions’ heads explode as we gay marry our way to Uncle Sam’s happy funeral. I mean, they are all, all the mainstream religious groups, more willing to preserve the “sanctity of marriage” than the “sanctity of life,” so fuck ’em & their silly beliefs.

    everybody quit their jobs & have sex. before we know it, it’ll all be just fine. ok, maybe not, but, you know, 1) 1st do no harm; 2) make love not war. Can’t do either 1 or 2 working at Jack in the Box.

    • benito mussolini’s ghost!

      well, if i understand correctly, it’s the ‘separation of mothers and chirren’ that’s the driving force of npr, msndnc (maddow cried!) crowd. but no, this hasn’t gotten any play at all for save…blaming trump, as if they’re blind to the dates. but ha, we were just talking about the fema camps that alec as wsws was polemicizing.

      and a dissenter over yonder had mentioned laura ingraham’s fix: non corrupt entities should make the poor in central and S america not-so-poor as to need to flee illegally to amerika. i’d asked if it hadn’t been she would first coined the term ‘anchor babies’.

      and no, for over yonder i’d dug up bubba clinton’s regime had started it. ‘as an object lesson’ as jeh johnson under oboma had noted. ‘deterrence’, yanno, as was the deal O cut to pay nieto in mexico to stop ‘em at the southern border of mexico, turn ‘enm back,

      ack, re: ‘constitution first’, in the same conversation i’d pinged having written about constitution free zones (not that for the dissenters of the realm there are any by now). but i’d dug out from 2013 a bit o satire i’d written in 2013; sorry lost the link, i’ll add it later.

      but i love your make as many anchor babies, as possible. whole lotta funny there. ;)

      on later edit:

      i was trying to remember the time frame of the declaration of ‘constitution-free zones’, two hundred miles from any amerikan border. i’d written abut it but as life is a time bandit for me, i just found it was from 2013 (under obomba). ‘How to Learn to Love the March of Jackboots or… Hear Music Instead‘.
      At the time, I’d reckoned it was great satire, don’t remember how it was received by the actual mostly Ds of firedoglake proper. well, there a whole ‘nother exposé on customs and border and armed drones that’s too long to explain easily, but this:

      “Did you know that over 100 million Americans live in a Constitution Free Zone? This is a zone that according to the ACLU, seems to be legally exempt from providing you with your Constitutional rights and specifically violates the 4th and 5th Amendments of the Constitution.

      ‘According to the Government and the Border Patrol, jurisdiction of the border patrol is within 100 miles of any border, effectively claiming 2 out of every 3 Americans as a resident within their jurisdiction. These boundaries or “jurisdiction” create what is defined by the ACLU, as the Constitutional Free Zone, where your fourth amendment right against unreasonable search and seizure, and your fifth amendment right to a fair trial and being innocent until proven guilty by a jury seem to just become void.’

      and at some point, all dissidents were labeled as terr’ists, can’t remember under whose administration, causing anthony freda to create this image: you are all terrorists starring ‘stuck in the closet with Vanna White!

      zo…while your [fema camps, which i’d brung up] links are rather dated, it’s likely some of the longer plan, whichever ‘deep state’ is in effect.

      • and when a story gets so big they have to cover it. at least domestically. they are working overtime right now to prop up the image of Saudi Arabia & Salman (see both R Cohen & T Friedman in the last 2-3 days on the opinion page,) with a singularly idiotic focus on women driving, the foundation of any liberating movement. it’s rather bizarre. why now? (the obverse of this is the constant slandering of Russia during FIFA.)

        b/c news is a psyop, the related questions of why, how and when something is covered are important. figuring out “why”, though, can be like reading the Sybilline Oracles. rip the newspaper up, toss the pieces into the air, pull some fragments together, consult an oracular expert, & that’s “why”. because there is no coherence in the larger picture, people can easily be deluded into thinking this family separation thing is some kind of aberration in US history. no connection can be made b/n e.g., refugees in the Mediterranean & refugees at the southern border. systemic analysis must be precluded & prevented at all costs.

        • gaggable on cohen and friedman, but in this case the ‘why’ seems to me almost pro-trumpian, pro-saud, anti-iranian, after the clown prince’s charm tour of the USA.

          not as stupid, perhaps, but disgusting nonetheless, was this (rather than nuke the monarchy, cuz amerikkkans love the monarchy!, and even today there was moar royal news on our msn email provider page):

          ‘Slavoj Žižek: Britain’s royal wedding had an emancipatory subtext’, RT,

          • I’ve got a subtext:
            “what do crowds of people around Windsor tell us about the possibility of crowds? what if the crowd had some guillotines to bring to the celebration of the continuity of power that is a royal wedding?” (i’m not into guillotining people generally, but they make a good show of what might be done, of what the royals deserve. still, I can’t find myself moved to much pity at the thought of some of their heads in a basket. that’s how Madame Defarge began, maybe. oh well. live by the nuclear sword, die by some whetted edge or other.)

            yes, thank you for the obvious reminder of why friedman & cohen & co are cheerleading for the Saudis. it’s a wonder they have any saliva left after trying to scrub clean Gaza’s walls w/their tongues all these years. they uniformly look the other way at labor conditions in the GCC countries, esp for foreigners who are often little better than slaves. and I wonder what the delta vector is for head chopping in the Kingdom under Salman?

            • mega lulzo yer first paragraph. i was picturing a photo of prince harry, i believe, being carried by four black folk in africa..on a palequin on a throne. that cordeliers had put up on twitter.

              now i can’t speak to what those cretins had said about gaza since i’d never read, but i can well imagine. that genocide is one of the things that HRW amerika (ken roth) got right; what was the other recent one that surprised me? ah…assange!

              but remember the accolades given trump in the media of record after he’d unleashed the MOAB on ‘bad guys’ in afghanistan, wasn’t it. fareed: ‘today the C-in-Chief…became presidential’ or some neo-con warmongering rubbish.

              now the delta vector on beheading in ksa we might have been told earlier…until the kingdom became…’our’ allies. but hey, that’s alright now, mama, the women folk can drive! (at least some of them.)

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