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AAP Statement Opposing Separation of Mothers and Children at the Border

3/4/2017 by: Fernando Stein, MD, FAAP, President and Karen Remley, MD, MBA, MPH, FAAP, CEO/Executive Vice President, American Academy of Pediatrics

​The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) opposes the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) proposal reported in the media that would separate immigrant mothers from their children when they arrive at the U.S. border.

“Pediatricians work to keep families together in times of strife because we know that in any time of anxiety and stress, children need to be with their parents, family members and caregivers. Children are not just little adults and they need loved ones to comfort and reassure them.

Federal authorities must exercise caution to ensure that the emotional and physical stress children experience as they seek refuge in the United States is not exacerbated by the additional trauma of being separated from their siblings, parents or other relatives and caregivers. Proposals to separate children from their families as a tool of law enforcement to deter immigration are harsh and counterproductive.  We urge policymakers to always be mindful that these are vulnerable, scared children.

“The American Academy of Pediatrics is ready to assist federal officials in crafting immigration procedures that protect children.”

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The American Academy of Pediatrics is an organization of 66,000 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