Children Face Serious Health Complications from Trauma After Family Separations and Imprisonment at the Border

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The Trump administration’s cruel immigration policy has created a humanitarian crisis at our border. Trauma at the Border, a new short video by Brave New Films, exposes the emotional, psychological and physical damage that can be done when children are imprisoned – even with their families.


Childhood trauma, like imprisonment and family separation, provokes long-lasting implications caused by high levels of toxic stress. Short term damage can present with depression, anxiety, developmental delays, and autism-like symptoms; long-term damage presents as cancer, heart disease, and diabetes.

Through the expertise and first-hand observations of current American Academy of Pediatrics president, Dr. Colleen Kraft, and her pediatric colleagues: Dr. Lanre Falusi and Dr. Nathalie Quion viewers are confronted with the heartbreaking reality that these innocent, traumatized children are unwilling participants forced to endure the consequences of the Trump administration’s cruel immigration policy.

“Locking children up, even with their families, in these detention facilities has long-lasting effects on their brains and on their bodies, affecting their development, affecting their emotional health, affecting their risk of diseases as adults.” Lanre Omojokun Falusi, BS, MD, FAAP

“If the brain is disrupted by toxic stress, you will see children who will not do well in school. They will drop out of school. They relieve their pain by smoking, drinking alcohol, doing drugs. They often become part of our prison system.” Colleen Kraft MD, MBA, FAAP

There is no safe amount of time for a child to be locked up. For more information on what you can do to end migrant family imprisonment, please visit: familiesbelongtogether.org.

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