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Children and parents suffer from physical and emotional trauma from detention

From the Editors  |  Issue: February | March 2019

The American Academy of Pediatrics warned that the thousands of children detained at Tornillo, Texas and elsewhere, especially those held for months, will face continuing risks to physical and emotional wellbeing.

“In 2017, the AAP published a policy statement that immigrant children seeking safe haven in the United States should never be placed in detention facilities. Studies of detained immigrants have shown that children and parents may suffer negative physical and emotional symptoms from detention, including anxiety, depression and posttraumatic stress disorder. Conditions in U.S. detention facilities, which include forcing children to sleep on cement floors, open toilets, constant light exposure, insufficient food and water, no bathing facilities, and extremely cold temperatures, are traumatizing for children. No child should ever have to endure these conditions.”

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