WERNER VOICE: Separation of Immigrant Families

Rochester General Hospital Edition 
July 2018


In April 2018, the U.S. Attorney General directed attorneys on the United States-Mexico border to prosecute all adults entering the country illegally under 8 U.S. Code § 1325(a), or “Improper Entry by Alien.” Under this statute, children accompanying parents across the border are separated from them and taken to temporary shelters or placed with foster families for an unspecified amount of time. Critics of this policy, including a number of NGOs, professional child welfare organizations and public figures, cite the large body of research illustrating the negative effects of separation on children’s mental and physical wellbeing.

 AAP Statement on Executive Order on Family Separation. American Academy of Pediatrics.

President’s EO on Policy Separating Parents from their Children Does Not Ensure a Permanent Solution. American College of Physicians.

Immigration policy, practices, and procedures: The impact on the mental health of Mexican and Central American youth and families. Torres SA, Santiago CD, Walts KK, Richards MH. – click here to order full text

Parental incarceration, transnational migration, and military deployment: family process mechanisms of youth adjustment to temporary parent absence. Rodriguez AJ, Margolin G.

Parental Separation and School Performance Among Children of Immigrant Mothers in Sweden. Erman J, Härkönen J.

Transnational Motherhood: Health of Hispanic Mothers in the United States Who Are Separated From Children. McCabe BE, Mitchell EM, Gonzalez-Guarda RM, Peragallo N, Mitrani VB.


Bibliography by Rachel Becker, MLIS

To print the July edition of Werner Voice, click here.

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