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According to a recent report from PsychPort, it sounds like recent immigrants who deal with mental illness are finding themselves dealing with deportation and a lack of mental health services.  Recent immigrants also have to deal with the fact that they are not required to stand competency hearings before trial and rarely are able to find lawyers.  Additionally, at the end of the day “judges are forced to go with their gut.”  Because of a variety of factors, mentally ill individuals who are citizens but were foreign born are also suffering deportation.  Finally, due to a strapped system the mental health workers who do work for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement are dealing with ratios of 2700 detainees to 1 psychiatrist.

This seems absurd to me.  How do we expect to find out the facts about an immigrants background if they are mentally ill?  It raised a variety of questions as well.  What happens when immigration, criminal justice and social services intersect?  Does the American social service system have a responsibility to provide services for illegal immigrants?  What types of services should be required to ensure humane treatment of detainees?  What questions does this raise for you?

Mentally ill immigrants have little hope for care when detained.  (2009, July 19th)  From  Retrieved July 20th, 2009 from