A view from Mexico of the US Customs and Border Protection is housing underage people caught illegally entering the United States at the Tornillo Port of Entry in Guadalupe Bravos, nearby Ciudad Juarez, state of Chihuahua, Mexico on 19 June 2018. Photo: AFPImmigrant children are being routinely and forcibly given a range of psychotropic drugs at US government-funded youth shelters to manage their trauma after being detained and in some cases separated from parents, according to a lawsuit.Children held at facilities such as the Shiloh Treatment Center in Texas are almost certain to be administered the drugs, irrespective of their condition, and without their parents’ consent, according to the lawsuit filed by the Los Angeles-based Center for Human Rights & Constitutional Law.The Shiloh centre, which specializes in services for children and youths with behavioral and emotional problems, did not respond immediately to a request for comment.The lawsuit was filed on April 16, days after the introduction of the Trump Administration’s “zero tolerance” policy to separate children from parents who crossed the US-Mexico border illegally. Trump abandoned the policy on Wednesday.“If you’re in Shiloh then it’s almost certain you are on these medications. So if any child were placed in Shiloh after being separated from a parent, then they’re almost certainly on psychotropics,” said Carlos Holguin, a lawyer representing the Center for Human Rights & Constitutional Law.Officials at the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR), which oversees such centres, were not immediately available for comment.Taking multiple psychotropic drugs at the same time can seriously injure children, according to the filing, which highlights the need for oversight to prevent medications being used as “chemical straight jackets,” rather than treat actual mental health needs.ORR-run centres unilaterally administer the drugs to children in disregard of laws in Texas and other states that require either a parent’s consent or a court order, the filing said.The lawsuit seeks a shift in ORR policies to comply with state laws and prevent the prolonged detention of children.Some youths at Shiloh reported being given up to nine different pills in the morning and six in the evening and said they were told they would remain detained if they refused drugs, the lawsuit said.Some said they had been held down and given injections when they refused to take medication, the lawsuit said.One mother said neither she nor any other family member had been consulted about medication given to her daughter, even though Shiloh had their contact details. Another mother said her daughter received such powerful anti-anxiety medications she collapsed several times, according to the filing.
Donald Trump & Vladimir Putin. File PhotoUS president Donald Trump and Russian president Vladimir Putin will hold a summit on 16 July in Helsinki, the Kremlin and the White House said on Thursday, firming up the place and date for a meeting that had already been agreed on.“The two leaders will discuss relations between the United States and Russia and a range of national security issues,” the White House said in a statement.Trump had said on Wednesday the meeting would likely take place after a 11-12 July summit of NATO leaders and that the Finnish capital was a possible venue.Moscow and Washington announced the time and place of the meeting simultaneously.The two countries struck a deal on Wednesday to hold a summit soon.Kremlin foreign policy aide Yuri Ushakov, speaking after Putin met US national security adviser John Bolton in the Kremlin, said the summit would take place in a mutually convenient third country and that several more weeks were needed to prepare for it.
00:00 /01:13 X Laura IsenseeThere was a strong campaign against Proposition 1 in HISD, against sending tax dollars from the district to the state, under the so-called “Robin Hood” program. Because Proposition 1 failed, HISD faces losing commercial property to pay off its debt to the state.In the next legislative session, the Houston Independent School District will wage a political battle worth at least $18 billion.The fight has emerged because Texas considers Houston a rich district and requires it to share money, in what’s known as “recapture” or “Robin Hood.”But this fall, voters rejected the most common way to pay that.“We have set ourselves apart with our stance and our city’s vote on recapture, and we have a heavy load to carry this session,” HISD Trustee Anna Eastman said at the board’s meeting in December.That’s because if lawmakers don’t change school finance, Texas will take $18 billion worth of commercial, non-residential property away from HISD to pay off the bill. The education commissioner will let another property-poor school district tax it instead.“Our district and the business community have a lot at stake, and it’s no joke,” said Ashlea Graves, who directs governmental relations with HISD.The district is trying to avoid that with its new legislative agenda. Graves said that they have three top priorities when it comes to school finance:A local homestead exemption: She said that school districts like HISD could get some credit in the finance formula for property that they don’t tax under the homestead exemption. This could save HISD about $60 million in recapture money.Restore transportation money: HISD loses the state’s transportation funding just like every other property-wealthy district that pays into recapture. For HISD, it’s worth $12 million.Count kids in full-day pre-kindergarten: Currently when Texas calculates the recapture bill, it doesn’t count these students as full-day. Graves said that this would reduce the bill by about $39 million.If passed, these strategies would reduce HISD’s debt by about a $100 million. But they won’t erase it entirely.“The biggest overarching problem with this is that the state needs to reduce its over-reliance on local property taxes and replace some of that money with its own general revenue,” Graves said. Listen Share To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: