Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Inhumane Detention Centers in America Part II.
One immigrant detained in 2007 was Amina Mudey.
She fled Somalia after her father, brothers and sister were murdered. Amina landed in New York and requested political asylum. "The medical treatment that Amina received was absolutely deplorable. Substandard, sanction-able, and flat out malpractice," says Ann Schofield Baker, Amina's lawyer. Schofield Baker says Amina was detained in the former New Jersey warehouse facility and almost immediately was prescribed a powerful anti-psychotic drug called "Risperdal." "How did she come to be on Risperdal to begin with? I mean, was she psychotic?" Pelley asks. "Not even remotely psychotic," Schofield Baker says. "When Amina first arrived at the detention center she hadn't slept in two or three days. She hadn't eaten. She'd never been on a plane before. She was disoriented. They brought her to the facility shackled. She was absolutely petrified. And she collapsed and had a panic attack. From that, someone concluded that she was psychotic." Schofield Baker says on Risperdal, Amina was dazed, drooling and helpless. A human rights group asked her to represent Amina. She got her own doctors, who took Amina off the drug. And Amina was granted asylum. Now Amina is studying computers and English.
What was it like when you walked out of there?" Pelley asks.
"Outside was beautiful," Amina says, with the help of a translator.
"It was a tough start for you," Pelley remarks.
"America is wonderful place. I like it, New York," Amina answers in English.
Amina's alleged misdiagnosis isn't an isolated case according to an internal memo from last year, written by the head of mental health at the Division of Immigration Health Services.
"The top psychologist worried about mental health,” Priest says, as she quotes from an email he wrote: 'We need to stop looking for Band-Aid solutions for these problems.”
"The little money managed care may save in the short run is going to be dwarfed by the millions that will be paid out by ICE when the lawsuits roll in.There have been just a handful of lawsuits so far. But they know they're sitting on a powder keg."