July 25, 2010


This report was researched and written by Sarah Mehta, Aryeh Neier fellow at Human Rights Watch and the American Civil Liberties Union. This report was edited by Alison Parker, US program director; Bill Frelick, refugee policy director; Meghan Rhoad, researcher in the women’s rights division; Shantha Rau Barriga, disability rights researcher in the health and human rights division; Joseph Amon, health and human rights director; Clive Baldwin, senior legal advisor; Danielle Haas, program editor, and Joe Saunders, deputy program director. Layout and production were coordinated by Grace Choi, publications director, Fitzroy Hepkins, mail manager, and Kyle Knight, associate for the children’s rights division.

Human Rights Watch would like to thank Jeannie Han, legal intern with the US program of Human Rights Watch, for her research assistance. We are grateful to Megan Bremer, Judy Rabinovitz, Jim Felakos, Jamil Dakwar, and Brittney Nystrom for providing expert review of draft sections of this report. We would also like to thank ICE and EOIR for providing us with the information we requested. Finally, we appreciate the assistance of the many psychiatrists and mental health specialists who helped us to prepare our interview methodology.

This report is indebted to the local advocacy organizations and their teams of pro bono attorneys as well as the many immigration attorneys throughout the US who made our research possible and who shared their invaluable expertise with Human Rights Watch. We particularly appreciate the assistance and time of family members, social workers, court officers, disability rights advocates and mental health practitioners who provided Human Rights Watch with invaluable information, insights and expertise.

Most importantly, Human Rights Watch wishes to thank each of the individuals who shared their experiences in immigration court and detention, and who spoke with courage and dignity about their mental disabilities, personal histories, and concerns.