Breaking News
November 13, 2018 - Majority of Americans are concerned about health threat posed by antibiotic resistance
November 13, 2018 - Addition of Elotuzumab Ups PFS in Refractory Multiple Myeloma
November 13, 2018 - Study finds women with pregnancy-related nausea, vomiting use marijuana more
November 13, 2018 - Lethal heart rhythm more likely to be found in patients with common heart failure
November 13, 2018 - Study provides new clues to origin and development of multiple sclerosis
November 13, 2018 - Researchers discover how mitochondria deploy a powerful punch against disease-causing bacteria
November 13, 2018 - AHA: Traumatic Childhood Could Increase Heart Disease Risk in Adulthood
November 13, 2018 - Feeling the Burn? | NIH News in Health
November 13, 2018 - Women’s birth canals in Kenya, Korea, Kansas not the same: study
November 13, 2018 - Fecal microbiota transplantation effective against ICI-associated colitis
November 13, 2018 - New physical activity guidelines released that urge people to “move more”
November 13, 2018 - Angiotensin receptor blockers improve sodium excretion in blacks
November 13, 2018 - New project seeks to address alarming injury rate in youth footballers
November 13, 2018 - Fish oil or omega 3 fatty acid supplements can prevent heart attacks finds study
November 13, 2018 - The Human Heart-in-a-Jar That Could One Day Replace Animal Testing
November 13, 2018 - Treat patients’ partners without a doctor visit
November 13, 2018 - Belgian beer landscape mapped using scientific insights
November 13, 2018 - ‘Master key’ gene has links to both ASD and schizophrenia
November 13, 2018 - Gladstone scientists gain new insights into the aging brain
November 13, 2018 - Drug therapy can improve outcomes for acutely ill heart patients
November 13, 2018 - Three landmark studies provide better understanding of sudden cardiac arrest
November 13, 2018 - Cholesterol control revised in the latest AHA/ACC guidelines
November 13, 2018 - Vulnerable young teenagers urgently need better sex education, say researchers
November 13, 2018 - Breakthrough research reveals how deadly pneumococcus avoids immune defenses
November 13, 2018 - Researchers discover possible path forward in preventing cancers tied to two viruses
November 13, 2018 - Wishes can help pediatric patients to get better over time
November 13, 2018 - Janssen Reports Positive Topline Results for FLAIR Phase 3 Study of a Novel, Long Acting Injectable Two-Drug Regimen for the treatment of HIV-1
November 13, 2018 - Experimental compound reduces Gulf War illness-like behavior in mice
November 13, 2018 - Small-stature in rainforest populations may be linked to cardiac adaptations
November 13, 2018 - Study shows how pneumococci challenge the immune system
November 13, 2018 - Simple cysts can be safely ignored, study finds
November 13, 2018 - First fully personalized tissue implant engineered from patient’s own materials and cells
November 13, 2018 - FDA Approves Keytruda (pembrolizumab) in Combination with Carboplatin and Either Paclitaxel or Nab-Paclitaxel for the First-Line Treatment of Patients with Metastatic Squamous Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC)
November 13, 2018 - Scientists take big step toward finding non-addictive painkiller
November 13, 2018 - Diabetes medication reduces risk of heart failure hospitalization
November 13, 2018 - Achieving high follow-up rates for violently injured patient population is feasible
November 13, 2018 - Shortage of specific gene ‘silencing’ molecules linked with pediatric low-grade gliomas
November 13, 2018 - Abx-Resistant Enterobacteriaceae Tied to Clinical Failure in UTI
November 13, 2018 - US approves first new type of flu drug in 2 decades
November 13, 2018 - Is zinc the link to how we think? Some evidence, and a word of warning
November 13, 2018 - Dispelling taboos, Michelle Obama talks IVF and miscarriage
November 13, 2018 - Medical experts discuss future challenges of healthcare at HSMA’s inaugural conference
November 13, 2018 - Growth and spread of deadly eye tumor suppressed in cells, animals
November 12, 2018 - Study finds huge shortfall in use of home-based medical care by frail seniors
November 12, 2018 - Cocaine Cut With Anti-Worming Drug, Levamisole, May Cause Brain Damage
November 12, 2018 - Obese mice lose a third of their fat using a natural protein
November 12, 2018 - Behind many a Parkinson’s case lurks a mutation in a gene called LRRK2 — why?
November 12, 2018 - Drug with fish oil cuts risk of heart attack, stroke, study finds
November 12, 2018 - Mild exposure to single blast can induce meaningful pathogenic effects, study shows
November 12, 2018 - Miniature pacemakers aim to make heart procedures for infants less invasive, more efficient
November 12, 2018 - Treating pre-cancerous stem cells at early stage could be key to preventing bowel cancer
November 12, 2018 - Kawasaki disease triggered by a combination of factors
November 12, 2018 - Optibrium and University of Nottingham Collaborate on Innovative Teaching Programme
November 12, 2018 - RNA defects linked to multiple myeloma progression in high risk patients
November 12, 2018 - Science is on trial – and we need doctors to provide the defense
November 12, 2018 - Salk researchers receive $19.2 million to unravel mysteries of age-related cognitive decline
November 12, 2018 - KE Eye Centers offer new solution for patients with myopia and astigmatism
November 12, 2018 - Trumpeted new Medicare Advantage benefits will be hard for seniors to find
November 12, 2018 - Biogen and Eisai Announce Presentation of Detailed Analyses from the Phase 1b Long-Term Extension Study of Aducanumab at Clinical Trials on Alzheimer’s Disease (CTAD)
November 12, 2018 - Scientists reveal new cystic fibrosis treatments work best in inflamed airways
November 12, 2018 - Hands-Only CPR training kiosks can teach life-saving skills in just minutes
November 12, 2018 - Inexpensive and effective drug does not reduce major adverse cardiovascular event rates
November 12, 2018 - Testing coronary calcium levels can better predict patient’s risk for coronary heart disease
November 12, 2018 - FDA conducts mass seizure of food and medical products held under insanitary conditions
November 12, 2018 - FDA Approves Invokana (canagliflozin) to Reduce the Risk of Heart Attack, Stroke or Cardiovascular Death in Adults with Type 2 Diabetes and Established Cardiovascular Disease
November 12, 2018 - Hormone helps reverse brain damage caused by obesity
November 12, 2018 - Grants aim to provide better cancer clinical trial access for military veterans
November 12, 2018 - Mitochondrial DNA may have strong influence on cellular metabolism and disease susceptibility
November 12, 2018 - High stakes, entrenched interests and the Trump rollback of environmental regs
November 12, 2018 - Stem cells transplanted for treatment of Parkinson’s disease
November 12, 2018 - Sandoz Inc. Issues Voluntary Nationwide Recall of One Lot of Losartan Potassium and Hydrochlorothiazide Due to the Detection of Trace Amounts of NDEA (N-Nitrosodiethylamine) Impurity Found in the Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient (API)
November 12, 2018 - Protein found in patients with severe asthma can help identify who would benefit from targeted drugs
November 12, 2018 - Experts develop a list of competencies in antimicrobial prescribing and stewardship
November 12, 2018 - Allied BioScience receives approved label from EPA for new bacteriostatic surface coating
November 12, 2018 - MR Solutions displays elegant bench top CT scanner with clip-on PET and SPECT at EANM congress
November 12, 2018 - FDA announces emergency use authorization of Ebola fingerstick test with portable reader
November 12, 2018 - Grieving spouses with sleep problems have increased risk of chronic immune activation
November 12, 2018 - Exercise routines affect mental health in Japanese expatriates
November 12, 2018 - Fish oil and vitamin D pills no guard against cancer or serious heart trouble
November 12, 2018 - Excess Gestational Weight Gain Not Better for Child Bone Health
1 in 5 immigrant children detained during ‘zero tolerance’ border policy are under 13

1 in 5 immigrant children detained during ‘zero tolerance’ border policy are under 13

image_pdfDownload PDFimage_print

The Trump administration has detained 2,322 children 12 years old or younger amid its border crackdown, a Department of Health and Human Services official told Kaiser Health News on Wednesday. They represent almost 20 percent of the immigrant children currently held by the U.S. government in the wake of its latest immigrant prosecution policy.

Their welfare is being overseen by a small division of the Department of Health and Human Services — the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) — which has little experience or expertise in handling very young children.

The number of children has exploded in the past six weeks since the Trump administration moved to stop parents and their children at the U.S. border and separate and detain them in different facilities. A total of 11,786 children under age 18 are currently detained, the official said.

Since 2003, ORR has been charged with sheltering and finding suitable homes for “unaccompanied alien children” — generally teenaged immigrants who reach the United States without a parent or guardian.

But its responsibilities have morphed and multiplied since April because the immigration crackdown means that the ORR is now responsible for detaining not only more children, but minors who are far younger than those who had arrived in the past, experts said.

Beyond specialized medical care, younger children have different food and housing needs, and require more personal attention.

“The children are younger and will be there for a longer time and are deeply traumatized by being forcibly separated from their parents,” said Mark Greenberg, a former administration official at HHS’ Administration for Children and Families, which oversees the ORR. “All of that makes it much more difficult to operate the program.”

The complex crisis is magnified by the inexperience of some of the political appointees leading the response, said critics who include former officials from both Republican and Democratic administrations of the past decade.

ORR Director Scott Lloyd is a lawyer whose career has been focused on anti-abortion efforts. He led the Trump administration’s legal efforts to prevent abortions for detained teen immigrants. Lloyd’s main immigration experience before leading ORR was research for a report on refugees for the Knights of Columbus, a Catholic service organization with an anti-abortion stance, according to a deposition he gave in lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union.

Kenneth Wolfe, the HHS spokesman who provided the figures, declined to address how many people are currently working at ORR or whether ORR had secured additional staff or expertise to cope with the influx of young children. He also would not say how many of the 2,322 children 12 and younger have been separated from their families.

The administration had previously refused to provide the ages of the children separated from their families — saying only that about 2,300 children have been separated and detained since the policy took effect.

The detention conditions, which include children being held in chain-link holding pens and “tent cities,” have ignited a political firestorm over possible abuse in the treatment of children as young as 4. Some of these younger children — including toddlers — are being sent to “tender age” shelters, according to media reports. The care is also costly: Tents alone cost HHS $775 per person per day, according to media reports.

Republicans, including former first lady Laura Bush, have called on the administration to stop the policy. President Donald Trump has blamed Congress for the detentions, but top White House advisers were actively promoting family separations as a policy shift.

News reports have described children as young as 5 being scolded for playing, one teenager teaching others how to change a small child’s diaper, and caretakers not being permitted to touch children. ProPublica reported that more than 100 children detained are younger than 4.

ORR, experts add, is already at a disadvantage.

“It’s significantly challenging to create that capacity, and quite expensive,” noted Robert Carey, a former ORR director from the Obama administration. “All the aspects of care are dramatically different based on age. … You need people who are trained in early childhood development or care.”

That’s a heavy lift for an office that, experts stress, was never built to serve as a long-term housing system.

It’s not clear, Carey and others said, that the administration has had sufficient time or support to adapt.

Many ORR employees, Carey added, are career staffers with deep knowledge about immigration and child welfare, with whom he frequently worked while in office.

“The kids are going into the custody of ORR without adequate resources,” said Shadi Houshyar, who directs early childhood and child welfare initiatives at Families USA, an advocacy group. “It’s definitely going to result in some potentially damaging decisions being made. The capacity, training and fundamental orientation — while understanding the needs of children — is not the orientation that ORR has.”

While ORR has a history of placing teenagers who arrive on their own with relatives of families in the U.S., that challenge is heightened by the policy of separating children, who are young and may understand little of the experience or be able to identify relatives who could take them in.

Making matters more complicated, when families are separated, parents and children are tracked by different federal agencies — the parents by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and the children by ORR. Children are also tracked and treated the same as minors who arrived on their own. Together, that makes reunification more difficult. And that’s a problem experts worry will persist, even if family separations cease.

“It does not look like they’ve figured out this process,” said a former HHS official, who requested anonymity because she could face professional ramifications for speaking publicly. As a result, she added, “the time the child stays in ORR could be significantly longer” — which in turn adds to trauma and causes other long-term problems.

KHN’s coverage of children’s health care issues is supported in part by the Heising-Simons Foundation.

Shefali Luthra: [email protected], @Shefalil

Marisa Taylor: [email protected], @marisaataylor

Kaiser Health NewsThis article was reprinted from khn.org with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente.

Tagged with:

About author

Related Articles