A project of the Center for Community Change

Mentally Ill Man Deported; Family Fears for his Life

On January 22nd, Harvey Sachdev was deported to India, despite the fact that his case was still open on appeal in the Fourth Circuit court in Washington, DC. Sachdev has lived in the United States for almost 40 years and is the son, brother and father of U.S. Citizens – he is also schizophrenic.

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Mr. Sachdev is mentally ill and requires care, which his family is able and willing to provide. He has no one in India and does not have the ability to survive on his own.

Greg Pleasants, JD/MSW, an Equal Justice Works Fellow and Staff Attorney at Mental Health Advocacy Services, Inc. states that “People with mental and developmental disabilities who are deported can also face a grave risk of harassment and even persecution in their home countries – harassment and persecution based solely on their disabilities.”

“Without family or medical support, deportation can become a death sentence. Suicide and attempted suicide are not uncommon among deported people with mental illnesses. Access to medicine can be limited and people are often deported without any information on their medical background.  Deportation of the mentally ill is cruel and unusual punishment,” says Dimple Rana of Deported Diaspora, an organization working with people deported from the U.S.

His family fears for his life, as he is now lost in New Delhi, a city of 11 million people, with no contacts, no help and no access to medicine or treatment for his mental illness.  According to his brother and sisters, “Our brother’s deportation is likely a death sentence for him, and we also fear our mother’s life. The stress and the worry has put her life in peril.”

This is another example of ICE acting inhumanely when conditions and circumstances demand a more humanitarian approach to immigration policy.

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