AAP denounces federal initiative separating families at border
MelissaJenco, News Content Editor
The Academy is opposing federal efforts that will separate parents and children crossing
the country’s southwest border illegally.
AAP President Colleen A. Kraft, M.D., M.B.A., FAAP, said she is outraged by the “sweeping
cruelty” of dividing immigrant families who often are fleeing for their lives.
“The new policy is the latest example of harmful actions by the Department of Homeland
Security against immigrant families, hindering their right to seek asylum in our country
and denying parents the right to remain with their children,” she said in a statement.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the initiative in Arizona Monday during a
speech to the Association of State Criminal Investigative Agencies.
“If you cross this border unlawfully, then we will prosecute you,” he said, according
to prepared remarks. “… If you are smuggling a child, then we will prosecute you and that child will
be separated from you as required by law.”
Authorities already have been carrying out the initiative informally. The New York Times estimates that since October, nearly 700 children have been separated from their
The Academy has been vocal in its opposition, writing letters to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and joining more than 200 organizations in calling for authorities to halt these efforts as the
extreme stress of separation can have long-lasting impacts on children’s health.