"The increase in unaccompanied children crossing the U.S. border is a humanitarian crisis that warrants immediate and sustained action from the highest levels of government. President Obama's request for additional resources, nearly half of which would go to the Department of Health and Human Services to address the issue, underscores the urgency of the situation. Pediatricians call on Congress to prioritize the health, safety and well-being of these children above all else, and to ensure that their physical and mental health needs are being met.
"The AAP and our state chapters remain deeply concerned and committed to caring for these children, ensuring whenever possible that they are united with family, and advocating that all children have legal representation during immigration proceedings. Pediatricians stand ready to work with federal agencies responsible for coordinating the response.
"We must remember that these are scared, vulnerable children, many of whom have been victims of violence, and they need our compassion and assistance. As the situation evolves, pediatricians will continue to urge state and federal leaders to do everything in their power to protect these children."
The American Academy of Pediatrics is an organization of 62,000 primary care pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists and pediatric surgical specialists dedicated to the health, safety and well-being of infants, children, adolescents and young adults. For more information, visit www.aap.org and follow us on Twitter @AmerAcadPeds.