The American Academy of Pediatricians has made a bold statement about the proposed DHS policy to separate children from their parents and the use of detention - clearly linking these policies to their potential to traumatize children.
To that end, children should never be separated from a parent unless it is for the child's safety, and the Department of Homeland Security should discontinue the use of family detention and use community-based alternatives to detention to treat immigrant children, as they do not meet basic standards of care for children in residential settings, reported Julie M. Linton, MD, of the AAP Council on Community Pediatrics, and colleagues.
AAP also makes several trauma preventive and trauma specific policy recommendations to protect and strenthen immigrant children and their families:
- Government funding to support case management programs for immigrant or refugee children
- Funding for post-release services to allow these children access to comprehensive community medical services
- Comprehensive healthcare and insurance coverage
- Safe school settings for immigrant children, with school records not used in any immigrant enforcement action