Friday, May 29, 2009

You Took the Words Outta My Mouth: Immigration + Mental Health = EPIC FAIL

Thea Lim has this excellent post over on Racialicious, "When Systems of Oppression Intersect: Mental Health and the Immigration System." It details the story of Xiu Ping Jiang, a Chinese immigrant who has been caught up in the flawed deportation process, and whose situation is more compounded by a system that does not know how to properly treat for mental health concerns. This piece, which also cites other articles of note, captures what a horror show our immigration system really is. Being kept in solidarity confinement has ratcheted up Jiang's depression and suicidal ideations, thus it becomes increasingly more difficult for her to properly organize effectively for her case. Lim goes on to say:
It is impossible to disentangle the different strands of prejudice; where the psychiatric system is used to persecute people of colour, the justice system or immigration system persecutes people with disabilities, and inhumane systems in general combine to drive people to madness.
Read the full article here. As a crisis worker who has seen similar issues played out, let me just add that this problem is exacerbated when intimate partner violence or sexual assault is involved. This triad is unfortunately very common and there are not enough agencies with the appropriate resources available to aid these victims. This is the kind of problem that while not specialized, is treated as such, and I would love to see it addressed by our new administration.

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