US Drugging Foreigners for Deportation

More than 'last resort,' practice violates international standards
By Sam Gale Rosen,  Newser Staff
Posted May 14, 2008 1:40 PM CDT
Alma Pena holds a sign as she participates in a May Day march and rally in downtown Los Angeles to call for immigration reform Thursday, May 1, 2008, in Los Angeles.   (AP Photo/Kevork Djansezian)
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(Newser) – The US government injects hundreds of illegal immigrants with dangerous psychotropic drugs to keep them sedated while being deported, the Washington Post reports. The so-called "pre-flight cocktail" often leaves detainees so incapacitated they need a wheelchair to get onto the plane. Used far more often than the "last resort" it's advertised as, the practice violates some international human-rights codes.

The Post found one instance in which an Ecuadoran man was held down and drugged while an officer stood above him and taunted, "Nighty-night." Detainees often receive booster doses throughout the flight, and can be disoriented for weeks following their arrival in their home countries.