As health professionals, we are committed to foresee and forestall damage to human health and the environment and to first do no harm. We are compelled by our values to condemn The Trump Administration policy of separating immigrant children from their parents. This cruel practice violates all principles of human rights and is an unconscionable infliction of emotional and physical trauma on vulnerable families. Most of these families are fleeing from gang violence, gender-based violence or natural disasters made worse by climate change. They should be treated as international refugees, not as criminals.

Despite President Trump’s executive order to stop family separation, we remain deeply concerned about this cruel and racist policy which has separated over 2,300 immigrant children from their parents during the last two months. We are also concerned about the lack of transparency regarding the health and well-being of these children and their families. We stand with with other health professionals of conscience in calling for the immediate reunification of immigrant families. The American Association of Pediatrics and American Medical Association have issued statements opposing the policy.

For over 50 years, Physicians for Social Responsibility has been a voice to eliminate nuclear and environmental threats. As the conscience of American medicine, we must speak out against efforts to terrorize families fleeing violence. We also acknowledge damaging effects on the human psyche and the health of our society caused by policies that demonize and dehumanize any group of people.

PSR-LA calls for separated families to be reunited and treated with dignity now.