Migrant children in U.S. detention face physical, mental harms: report

From the Harvard School of Public Health website comes this piece on new research demonstrating the negative mental and physical impact on children held in U.S. immigration detention centers:

“Children detained for a prolonged period in family immigration detention centers in the U.S. are experiencing mental and physical harm due to inadequate and inappropriate medical care, according to a new report.

The January 11 report was conducted by the FXB Center for Health and Human Rights at Harvard University, the Massachusetts General Hospital Asylum Clinic at the MGH Center for Global Health, and the Harvard Global Health Institute, in collaboration with the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services.

The report analyzed the medical records of 165 children held in an ICE family immigration detention facility at Karnes County Family Residential Center in Karnes City, Texas, between June 2018 and October 2020. The investigators found that children were detained at the center for a median duration of 43 days, with 88% of them staying there for longer than 20 days, which is the maximum amount of detention time allowed. In addition, children had limited access to basic health care. There was inadequate staffing, supervision, and documentation of medical care; inappropriate screening and follow-up care for existing chronic medical conditions, malnutrition, and tuberculosis; and inappropriate mental health screening.”

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