(BOSTON, MA) — Statement of Robert Restuccia, executive director of Community Catalyst, strongly condemning the Trump administration’s “zero-tolerance” policy of separating children from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border. 

“Community Catalyst urges the Trump administration to reverse its cruel and racist ‘zero-tolerance’ immigration policy that has separated more than 2,000 children from their parents and isolated them in prison-like detention centers around the country.

“As an organization that believes all children should have the opportunity to lead healthy, safe and happy lives, we are deeply concerned about the impact the administration’s family separation policy is having on the children’s health and well-being. In many cases, these children and their families are escaping dangerous, unhealthy – and oftentimes life-threatening – conditions in their home countries. Every minute of every day that these children are separated from their parents only compounds the trauma the children are already experiencing. Medical experts say isolating children in detention centers induces ‘toxic stress’ in children that will likely have long-term, harmful consequences on their mental, physical and behavioral health, including underdevelopment of social, emotional, language and motor skills as well as increased risk of depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Colleen Kraft, MD, president of the American Academy of Pediatrics, yesterday stated that the Trump family separation policy ‘amounts to child abuse.’

“It’s unconscionable and unacceptable that tearing children away from their parents is the new policy of our government when its central aim should be the opposite: to protect children and strengthen families.

“The Trump administration’s family separation policy is institutionalizing cruelty toward children and undermines the values that the United States stands on. We call on the Trump administration to reverse its cruel family separation policy and keep children united with their loved ones.”


About Community Catalyst

Community Catalyst is a national, non-profit consumer advocacy organization founded in 1998 with the belief that affordable quality health care should be accessible to everyone. We work in partnership with national, state and local organizations, policymakers and philanthropic foundations to ensure consumer interests are represented wherever important decisions about health and the health system are made: in communities, statehouses and on Capitol Hill. For more information, visit www.communitycatalyst.org. Follow us on Twitter @HealthPolicyHub.