“In accordance with internationally accepted rights of the child, immigrant and refugee children should be treated with dignity and respect and should not be exposed to conditions that may harm or traumatize them. The Department of Homeland Security facilities do not meet the basic standards for the care of children in residential settings.”
Julie M. Linton, Marsha Griffin, Alan J. Shapiro and COUNCIL ON COMMUNITY PEDIATRICS
Detention of Immigrant Children
“Research suggests that initial traumatic experiences and resulting emotional dysregulation may lead to subsequent heightened trauma exposure (e.g., physical and sexual abuse). In order to properly treat and advocate for unaccompanied children, it is imperative to consider the complexity of these trauma responses.”
Brett Stark, Alan Shapiro, Cristina Muñiz de la Peña, Jenny Ajl
Terra Firma: Medical-Legal Care for Unaccompanied Immigrant Garifuna Children
“When immigrant parents are forcibly separated from their children pursuant to a policy of family separation, the manifold harms are not only medical and psychological, but legal and ethical. Family separation adversely affects the health of immigrant families in addition to posing potential ethical ramifications that remain to be fully ascertained.”
Mia Stange, Brett Stark
The Ethical and Public Health Implications of Family Separation
“By understanding the four unique phases of the immigration journey: pre-migration, migration, detention, and post-release, social service providers caring for newly arrived unaccompanied children can offer a trauma-informed approach that considers children's complex medical, psychosocial, educational, and legal needs.”
Julie M. Linton, Elizabeth Kennedy, Alan Shapiro, Marsha Griffin
Unaccompanied Children Seeking Safe Haven: Providing Care and Supporting Well-Being of a Vulnerable Population
"As one of its signature priorities, the Trump administration implemented substantial changes to immigration policy, which profoundly affected the health and welfare of immigrant children and families. Actions by the Biden administration to end these policies are critically important, but policy reversals aren’t enough to address the harm that has been done."
N. Ewen Wang, M.D., Ryan Matlow, Ph.D., and Alan Shapiro, M.D.
When Undoing is Not Enough — Repairing Harms Inflicted on Immigrant Children
“Adding to the traumatic experiences that motivate refugee and migrant families to flee, it is the exposure of continued stress following the migration process what appears to predict negative mental health outcomes. Immigration detention itself is a traumatic experience with inherent toxic stress."