The American Medical Association (AMA) on Wednesday condemned the Trump administration’s policy of separating children from their families at the border, warning that trauma caused by separations can create lifelong “negative health impacts” for children.
The AMA called on Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar and Attorney General Jeff Sessions to end the policy and “give priority to supporting families and protecting the health and well-being of the children within those families.”
“Families seeking refuge in the U.S. already endure emotional and physical stress, which is only exacerbated when they are separated from one another,” the AMA said in a statement. “It is well known that childhood trauma and adverse childhood experiences created by inhumane treatment often create negative health impacts that can last an individual’s entire lifespan.”
The Hill added:
Medical professionals discussed the “great harm” the policy will inflict on children and families during the AMA’s annual meeting in Chicago earlier this month.
Other medical experts, including the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), have also warned of the potential “irreparable harm” to children’s lifelong development.
Sessions began implementing its “zero tolerance” policy last month, which has led to more than 2,000 children being detained separately from their parents, according to The Associated Press.