So, you say you want to get the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants out of the country. All of them. They’re all lawbreakers and they shouldn’t be here.
How are you going to do that if an illegal doesn’t want to leave? It’s not the same thing as arresting a domestic criminal and imprisoning them. We have an infrastructure to facilitate that. Deporting 11 million people is another thing. How do you do this? Literally drag them onto a plane accompanied by a bunch of federal officers, and shoot them full of powerful drugs so they’ll be compliant?
Turns out, that’s what we’ve been doing for years, according to the Washington Post’s Amy Goldstein and Dana Priest:
An analysis by The Post of the known sedations during fiscal 2007, ending last October, found that 67 people who got medical escorts had no documented psychiatric reason. Of the 67, psychiatric drugs were given to 53, 48 of whom had no documented history of violence, though some had managed to thwart an earlier attempt to deport them. These figures do not include two detainees who immigration officials said were given sedatives for behavioral rather than psychiatric reasons before being deported on group charter flights, which are often used to return people to Mexico and Central America.
Even some people who had been violent in the past proved peaceful the day they were sent home. “Dt calm at this time,” says the first entry, using shorthand for “detainee,” in the log for the January 2007 deportation of Yousif Nageib to his native Sudan. In requesting drugs for his deportation, an immigration officer had noted that Nageib, 40, had once fled to Canada to avoid an assault charge and had helped instigate a detainee uprising while in custody. But on the morning of his departure, the log says, he “is handcuffed and states he will do what we say.” Still, he was injected in his right buttock with a three-drug cocktail.
In one printout of Nageib’s medical log, next to the entry saying he was calm, is a handwritten asterisk. It was put there by Timothy T. Shack, then medical director of the immigration health division, as he reviewed last year’s sedation cases. Next to the asterisk, in his neat, looping handwriting, Shack placed a single word: “Problem.”
When he landed in Lagos, Nigeria, Afolabi Ade was unable to talk.
“Every time I tried to force myself to speak, I couldn’t, because my tongue was . . . twisted. . . . I thought I was going to swallow it,” Ade, 33, recalled in an interview. “I was nauseous. I was dizzy.”
As he was being flown back to Africa, his American wife alerted his parents there that he was on his way. His father was waiting at the Lagos airport. It was the first time in three years that they had seen one another. Shocked by how woozy the young man was, his father decided not to take him home and frighten the rest of the family. Instead, he checked his son into a hotel.
Ade was in the hotel for four days before the effects of the drugs began to abate.
Ade had no history of mental illness warranting the use of these drugs, nor of violence. He was in the US as a student. According to the post, he pleaded guilty to a felony after he was arrested in a car driven by his cousins where fraudulent checks were found. At the hotel in Lagos, a family doctor wanted to treat him for his grogginess. But US officials didn’t see fit to leave information about which drugs they had put in his system.
Ade’s pulse was dangerously low, and when he tried to walk around the hotel room, “he leaned on the wall,” (the doctor) said. “He was talking, but a slurred kind of speech.”
According to the Post’s research, the injection probably contained Haldol, which is used for schizophrenics when they are in acute psychotic states. Of course, there was another notable use for Haldol. It was the drug adminstered by the Soviet Union to the dissidents it housed in psychiatric prisons.
Read it all, because there’s much more, including this bit of black humor: The federal government’s pitch to recruit the required medical escorts to keep the injections coming.
To recruit medical escorts, the government has sought to glamorize this work. “Do you ever dream of escaping to exotic, exciting locations?” said an item in an agency newsletter. “Want to get away from the office but are strapped for cash? Make your dreams come true by signing up as a Medical Escort for DIHS!”
That brings up the issue of cost. We’re paying for ICE personnel and a medical escort to fly each one of the deportees back to their home country. Which, for the violent or truly insane might be warranted. But not for all 11 million, most of them working or enrolled in school.
Goldstein and Priest of done us a big favor, putting the flesh on the easy arguments of the immigration hardliners. There are economic arguments on both sides, and reasonable people can come down on the side that says illegals undermine the wage structure. What this story demonstrates is that the illegal immigration issue is two distinct problems, and we haven’t got a clue on what to do about the biggest part of it: What to do about the people here now; how to address them and keep our souls.