Bush Scandals List

263. Chemical restraints used on undocumented immigrants

As part of Julie Myers’ reconfirmation as head of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, it came out that ICE agents from October 2006 to April 2007 used chemical restraint on 33 deportees because of "combative" behavior. They were basically zapped with the powerful anti-psychotic Haldol which put them into a drug induced stupor. It is not legal to use unless prescribed by a physician. The ICE agents were not physicians nor acting under the orders of one. In addition, non-emergency medication of a patient without their consent even by a physician is battery. Finally, use of psychotropics by a government for non-medical reasons without consent is a textbook definition of torture. I would ask what the ICE agents were thinking but they clearly weren’t. (see also items 54 and 161)

An investigative report by the Washington Post of May 14, 2008 found that during the 2007 fiscal year 53 deportees without any psychiatric history or history of violence were given psychiatric drugs to sedate them. After the cases of Raymond Soeoth, a Christian minister from Indonesia seeking asylum, and Amadou Diouf, a student who married an American, were publicized by the ACLU, ICE changed its policy in a June 21, 2007 memo (shortly before it settled with Soeoth and Diouf) to require a court order for the involuntary administration of these drugs. However in August 2007 Maher Ayoub was drugged involuntarily without court order and sent back to Egypt.

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