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Police State Alert: How Did U.S. Border Patrol Agents Gain Access to Toronto Woman’s Private Medical Data?

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Homeland Security

Homeland Security (Photo credit: Truthout.org)

I was turned away, I was told, because I had a hospitalization in the summer of 2012 for clinical depression

Ellen Richardson went to Pearson airport on Monday full of joy about flying to New York City and from there going on a 10-day Caribbean cruise for which she’d paid about $6,000.

“I was turned away, I was told, because I had a hospitalization in the summer of 2012 for clinical depression,’’ said Richardson, who is a paraplegic and set up her cruise in collaboration with a March of Dimes group of about 12 others.

The Weston woman was told by the U.S. agent she would have to get “medical clearance’’ and be examined by one of only three doctors in Toronto whose assessments are accepted by Homeland Security. She was given their names and told a call to her psychiatrist “would not suffice.’’

[Here’s the kicker]:

No U.S. border agent has ever brought up the 2001 suicide attempt, including the agent on Monday who only mentioned her 2012 hospitalization, she said.

He cited the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act, Section 212, which denies entry to people who have had a physical or mental disorder that may pose a “threat to the property, safety or welfare’’ of themselves or others.

The problem here is the vague reference to “mental disorder.” We have to ask ourselves: who exactly is defining what a “mental disorder” is? In a police state, a mental disorder can be any pattern of thought that the government thinks is not accepted by the state. Today they may use conventional definitions to discriminate against those with episodes of mental distress, but tomorrow they will expand that definition to include any pattern of thought conducive to being an enemy of the state.
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