Success: Ban on Sharing Minors’ Confidential Therapy Notes With ICE Gains Traction

Courtroom - Clyde Robinson

Target: Grace Napolitano, Representative of California’s 32nd Congressional District

Goal: Praise bill that would put an end to sharing of immigrant minors’ confidential therapy notes with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents.

Two Democrats have proposed a bill that would end the cruel practice of allowing confidential information divulged by immigrant minors in therapy sessions to be used against them in court. These minors had been told that they could speak confidentially to therapists to help them cope with the traumatic experiences that had brought them to the border, but the information they shared was passed on to ICE agents — without their consent, and apparently often without the therapist’s knowledge.

This practice is utterly inexcusable and should never have been allowed in the first place. Fortunately, thanks to the efforts of concerned citizens like those who signed this ForceChange petition, Representative Grace Napolitano and Senator Jeff Merkley have introduced a bill that would end this inhumane procedure. While this is only a first step toward eventual passage of the legislation, it is an encouraging sign.

The US Department of Health and Human Services has stated that it will no longer share confidential therapy notes with ICE agents, but legal enforcement is needed to ensure that they live up to this promise. Sign below to praise those responsible for introducing the bill that would abolish this cruel breach of privacy.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Representative Napolitano,

Young immigrants often endure considerable suffering and hardships by the time they end up in US detainment facilities. These children need access to safe, confidential counseling, and using their traumatic pasts against them in court is unjust and contemptible.

While the Department of Health and Human Services pledged to end this cruel practice after it became known to the public, they are still free to resume it at any time. The Immigrants’ Mental Health Act is the only way to ensure that immigrant minors can have access to much-needed counseling without endangering their freedom or safety.

ICE has already caused immeasurable trauma and hardship for vulnerable immigrant families. Your bill is a step toward providing refugees with the protection and assistance that they deserve. Thank you for taking a stand against injustice and cruelty by writing the Immigrants’ Mental Health Act.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Clyde Robinson




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