Immigrant child health and border separations

Law professor Yael Cannon, director of the Medical-Legal Partnership at Georgetown Law’s Health Justice Alliance Law Clinic in DC, reflects on how child health is being negatively impacted by border separations in a current National Law Review article, “Return Immigrant Kids to Their Parents: Their Health Depends on It.”

“As the debate continues, it is critical to the health of children separated from their parents that they be reunited right away. Those children have experienced significant trauma that can cause lasting physical harm. Hundreds of studies stemming from research by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Kaiser Permanente affirm that adverse childhood experiences, especially where prolonged, can affect their health for the rest of their lives. We all experience stress and our bodies often respond by speeding up our heart rates and producing a stress hormone called cortisol. But when that stress becomes prolonged—and a child has been separated from the caring adult she trusts to help her through it—that response can become toxic.”

Read the full articleNational Law Journal article Immigrant kids

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