As of today, more than 2,300 children are in detention centers after being separated from their families at the U.S. border. Most of these children are under 13 years of age, and face significant short- and long-range developmental, mental and physical health issues related to these government actions.
President Trump’s executive order announced this week reversing his zero tolerance policy of separating families only keeps families together for 20 days. After the 20-day mark, children may still be separated from their parents. It also now means that children will be with their families in facilities that lack the resources infants and children need. Moreover, the Trump administration is asking the federal courts to undo the 20-day limit that migrant children can be held in detention centers and make it limitless. The underlying problem is caused by the zero tolerance policy that is sweeping up legitimate asylum seekers.
Research shows that the longer children remain in institutional settings, the greater their risk of depression, post-traumatic stress, and other mental health problems. Moreover, some of these children, fleeing with their families from violence in their countries of origin, have accumulated traumas even before their families were detained. The medical community has labeled these practices as inhumane and putting children at risk of being scarred for the rest of their lives.
Join Public Health Solutions in doing something to change the course for immigrant children and their families.
Call your members of congress right now to say #KeepFamiliesTogether and end the zero tolerance policy. Together, we can make a huge difference for children and families across the country. Dial (202) 224-3121 to reach the switchboard, press 1 to speak to each of your senators and then 2 to speak to your representative.
Families belong together. Help us make sure they can be.