Prevent Child Abuse Oregon strongly opposes the separation of children from their parents, as well as the conditions in which those children and families are being held in ICE Detention Centers across the United States. Beyond moral concerns, the research is clear that separating children from their parents has long-term psychological and physical health consequences. Even when they are later reunited, children who experienced separation are more likely to exhibit anxiety, depression, PTSD, lower IQ, and issues with immune system functioning, physical, growth, cancer and early death. To add to the toxic stress these children experience through separation, recent reports from the Office of Inspector General for the Department of Homeland Security detail substandard conditions at facilities that in some cases were “egregious violations of detention standards”. To date, at least 7 children have died in our Nation’s custody. First-hand accounts from children ages 10 to 15 in a Texas facility detail inadequate food, water, and sanitation and children being expected to care for babies and toddlers. In the state of Oregon, these conditions would be grounds for removal from a caregiver. In this case, the “caregiver” is us. Prevent Child Abuse Oregon urges its congressional delegation to do more to end the abuse of children in ICE custody.
Drawing from Child in ICE Detention