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Latina Lista: News from the Latinx perspective > Palabra Final > Immigration > With Eyes Fixed on Primaries, ICE Quietly Cleans Up its Act

With Eyes Fixed on Primaries, ICE Quietly Cleans Up its Act

LatinaLista — With all eyes and ears, morning, noon and night, fixed each day on the happenings of the presidential candidates and which demographic will vote for which candidate, it’s easy to miss the rest of the news.

Otherwise, we would have noticed that the Department of Homeland Security is trying to clean up its act — even if it is only to comply with court orders.


The first piece of news that slid just under the radar with hardly any coverage from mainstream media was the issue of ICE sedating deportees without a judge’s permission.
They admitted that they had taken the liberty to sedate 56 deportees with psychotropic drugs, even though the deportees had no history of mental illness. ICE justified administering the drugs because the deportees were “combative” when being deported.

An internal Immigration and Customs Enforcement memo obtained by The Associated Press said effective immediately, agents must get a court order before administering drugs “to facilitate an alien’s removal.”
“There are no exceptions to this policy,” said the memo written by John Torres, detention and removal director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
To get a sedation order from court, officials must show deportees have a history of physical resistance to being removed or are a danger to themselves.

The latest piece of news involving ICE is how the agency “quietly” a approved 37 new guidelines for addressing children detained at the T. Don Hutto facility and other family detention centers.
All in all, with advocates and immigration lawyers breathing down ICE to clean up how it treats the most vulnerable of the undocumented population, it was either comply or risk another trip to court — something DHS doesn’t want at this time since they’re already in court trying to take control of border residents’ lands to build a fence.

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Comment(6)

  • Jax
    January 16, 2008 at 10:21 pm

    The ICE folks wouldn’t have to sedate illegals had they obeyed orders. Still, I’m OK with tightening the rules assuming that we can be rid of illegals.
    taking control of border residents land should not be a sproblem. It can be taken through the right of eminent domain.

  • EYES OF TEXAS
    January 17, 2008 at 8:23 am

    The fact that officials must show deportees have a history of physical resistance to being removed would indicate a repeat offender. Just another reason to tighten border security and build that barrier along the border. At least it would slow the flow of illegal aliens. The idea of courts, judges and lawyers trying to render ICE from doing what they were established to do is insanity. We put forces in place to control illegal immigration and then remove their capacity to do their job. Commie ACLU.

  • Marisa Treviño
    January 17, 2008 at 9:12 am

    “The fact that officials must show deportees have a history of physical resistance to being removed would indicate a repeat offender.”
    Not necessarily. Their history could be as short as from the time they are picked up to their final destination before deportation. Remember physical resistance also includes those mothers/parents who don’t not want to leave their children behind. Of course, they’re going to resist.
    And before you say they should volunteer information about the children to the authorities, well, for ICE to have to pass 37 new guidelines on how they treat children should serve as a big hint why that was not an attractive option.

  • chuck
    January 17, 2008 at 2:36 pm

    If they don’t sedate those who demonstrate physical resistance, they will use a Tazer or billy club on them. Me. . .I’d rather be sedated.

  • American Family Values
    January 17, 2008 at 5:15 pm

    LL: “…the Department of Homeland Security is trying to clean up its act…”
    It appears as though (ICE) has switched tactics.

  • yave begnet
    January 17, 2008 at 8:41 pm

    I’d be more optimistic about the chances of getting ICE to treat people humanely if I didn’t know about the unholy mess that is our regular prison system for citizens. When I say unholy mess, I am talking about rampant discrimination based on race and class at every stage of the process and a vindictive streak as wide as Texas which leads us to incarcerate more people per capita than anyone else in the world–by a good margin. If our goal is to bring ICE up to the standards we treat incarcerated U.S. citizens, we’re in for a long and depressing ride.
    I suppose there’s nothing to say we can’t try to reform both systems, but it’s a daunting task by any measure.

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