Human Rights Watch has been covering the deportation of people with mental disabilities who are otherwise qualified to remain in the United States. For a fuller story and podcast on the subject visit the link below. Whether they are on the border or not, people with communication disabilities are far more likely to be abused by police, customs agents, school teachers, rest home orderlies, and even their families. In this way the unlawful treatment of people with mental disabilities by border agents is a reflection of a larger problem in the United States. As Human Rights Watch points out:
“Across the world, people with disabilities struggle for access to education, employment, housing and transport, for the right to express their sexuality and have children, to participate in political and social life and in the development of their communities. Individuals with physical and mental disabilities often face increased violence and discrimination as well.”
Just this week U.S. Rep. Michelle Bachmann has called for a reduction in disability benefits for veterans. Bachmann’s proposal comes as people with disabilities in her home state of Minnesota are fighting a proposed cut in Medicaid benefits that would have disastrous implications for PWDs there.
The proposed Medicaid cuts come from a consortium of seven health plans and hospitals which stand to gain if government programs are cut.
We at POTB like what Steve Larson, co-chair of the Minnesota Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities had to say: "They have never wanted to provide coverage. But now it seems doing business with public programs is a revenue generator."
Discriminatory practices can be good business. Follow the money. We can put more people in prisons and of course we can deport them. We certainly don’t have to understand them as citizens with human rights.
Eh, Ms. Bachmann?
“People with mental disabilities face unlawful deportation in the US immigration system. Luis has schizophrenia and he didn’t have access to his medication while he was in detention. Hear his story.”