Imagine being a 4 year old child torn apart from your family in a foreign country, not understanding the language spoken, not knowing anyone, not understanding why you were ripped apart from your parents or when you will see them again….
This is something that we don’t have to worry about in our day to day lives. But for over hundreds of thousands of UAC (undocumented alien children) this is their reality and how they live 24/7 in many detention centers across the united states. Parental loss and separation have long term and devastating impacts on children as they progress into adulthood.
The American Academy of Pediatrics condemns the practice of child separation, explaining that the resulting fear and stress can harm a child’s developing brain as well as short and long term health. Bad food, a lack of sleep, physical activity, and a disease ridden environment impacts brain development and normal physical growth can lead to depression. Subjecting any child to trauma of separation from a parent may not leave a visible injury, but the research is clear that such trauma risks injuring a child’s brain, physiological development, and his or her long term growth.