Child separation recipe for lifelong health, behavioral problems

July 1, 2018 Telegram & Gazette
"Separating children from their parents who accompanied them across the United States’ southwestern border is setting them up for potential lifelong health, developmental and behavioral problems, according to a UMass Memorial Children’s Medical Center pediatrician who studies traumatic stress in children.

More than 2,000 immigrant children remained separated from their parents as of last week, after the Trump administration began enforcing its “zero-tolerance” policy in May. The policy directed all illegal entrants to the U.S. referred from the Department of Homeland Security to be prosecuted.

When an adult is referred for prosecution, any child traveling with the adult is turned over to the federal Department of Health and Human Services while the child’s immigration case is resolved.

President Trump announced an end to family separation last week, but few of the separated families have been reunited.

Separated children have been placed in foster homes and group shelters around the country. Some of these shelters include a former Walmart building and a newly constructed tent city in Texas; rural cottages in upstate New York; and a former YWCA in Portland, Oregon, according to independent news organization, ProPublica."

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