DAA News Network

USA: US wrongfully deports citizen with mental health problems

Posted 19/10-10 at 13.10

Mark Lyttle, a U.S. citizen of Puerto Rican descent with severe mental health problems was illegally deported to Mexico by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). He spent over four months living on the streets and in the shelters and prisons of Mexico, Honduras and Nicaragua before the US embassy in Guatemala contacted one of his brothers and got him on a plane back home.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is taking legal action on Mark Lyttle's behalf. Judy Rabinovitz, Deputy Director of the ACLU Immigrants' Rights Project, said " Pushing Mr. Lyttle through proceedings that he clearly couldn't understand and then deporting him was not only inhumane but a gross violation of his due process rights."

Mark's nightmare is an example of the widespread failure of the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Justice to implement a system to identify immigration detainees who have severe mental health problems and provide them assistance throughout the detention and court process. This was recently documented in a report jointly published by the ACLU and Human Rights Watch. [see our September issue for coverage of the report]




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