Separation of families at U.S. border will have lasting effects on children, experts warn
Since April 19, two thousand children have been forcibly removed from their parents by United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents. The agents are acting on a new policy directive by the Trump administration, which has ordered “zero tolerance,” prosecuting all people who cross the border into the U.S. illegally. Scientists say that the policy will create long-lasting damage for those families affected. There are also immediate consequences, which manifest as physical symptoms of stress, as children experience elevated heart rates and increased production of stress hormones. These hormones undermine the brain's ability to transmit messages, eventually altering or destroying brain neurons entirely. These physical and psychological effects would be severely detrimental to anyone, but to children, they are simply "catastrophic," as Charles Nelson of Harvard Medical School told the Washington Post. Countless studies have already proven the long-term harm of these separations, leaving much of the medical community alarmed at the effects of the Trump administration's new "zero tolerance" rule. Organizations representing more than 250,000 doctors have spoken against the policy.