On March 13, 2017, the American Academy of Pediatrics published a policy statement on the detention of immigrant children, urging that immigrant and refugee children and families be treated with dignity and respect to protect their health and well-being. The statement, “Detention of Immigrant Children,” to be published in the April 2017 issue of Pediatrics (online March 13) states that the Department of Homeland Security facilities for temporary housing of immigrant children and families do not meet basic standards for the care of children in residential settings.

The AAP recommends that families not be separated, that children in the custody of their parents should never be detained, and that children should not be subjected to Customs and Border Protection processing centers. The statement renews the AAP’s call for access to legal counsel for children and families throughout the immigration pathway, expanded access to timely, comprehensive medical care, and that sensitive locations like schools and health care facilities should not be sites where immigration enforcement action occurs.

Please visit AAP.org to access the following resources: 

  • Press release outlining the new recommendations 
  • AAP News article with interviews from pediatrician experts explaining the new recommendations  
  • Immigrant child health toolkit providing practical information and resources for pediatricians to address common matters related to immigrant child health

Feel free to share the messages below:

Children & families should never be detained. New @AmerAcadPeds policy statement: http://ow.ly/oIFU309Okk1 #RefugeesWelcome #putkids1st (our press release linking to the policy statement and all other resources)

Children shouldn’t be exposed to conditions that could re-traumatize them, including detention. @AmerAcadPeds : http://ow.ly/oIFU309Okk1  (our press release linking to the policy statement and all other resources)

We support @AmerAcadPeds new statement on the detention of immigrant children: they need our compassion & care. http://ow.ly/xona309GbAR (@HealthyChildren article that is parent-focused)

New resources for families to talk to their pediatrician about concerns related to immigration, from @AmerAcadPeds: http://ow.ly/AaT6309FzdE (HealthyChildren.org resources for families)

New @AmerAcadPeds policy on detention, via @AAPNews. Bottom line: children should never be detained: http://ow.ly/o9ZF309OzD4 #putkids1st (@AAPNews story on new policy)

The DC Chapter of the AAP has an active Immigration Health Committee. For more information, please contact Dr. Dan Newman at dnewman@childrensnationalorg