AMA calls out the conditions of detention facilities

July 15, 2019

The American Medical Association (AMA) calls out government agencies for deplorable conditions for children and pregnant women in immigrant border facilities.

The American Medical Association (AMA) has expressed concerns to the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency that conditions in facilities at the southern US border used to house detained children and pregnant women are traumatizing and inhumane.

In a letter sent July 10 to the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, the AMA points out that “conditions in CPB custody are inconsistent with evidence-based recommendations for appropriate care and treatment of children and pregnant women” and pledges support for passage of HR 3239-the “Humanitarian Standards for Individuals in Customs and Border Protection Custody Act”-as part of any humanitarian response to the immigration crisis.

“It is well known that childhood trauma and adverse childhood experiences created by inhumane treatment often create negative health impacts that can last an individual’s entire lifespan. Given our concerns, we strongly urge the Administration and Congress to work with the AMA and other medical and mental healthcare experts to develop policies that ensure the health of children and families is protected throughout the immigration process,” wrote James L. Madara, MD, CEO and executive vice president of the AMA, in the letter.

 

The AMA issued its statement in advance of congressional hearings titled “Kids in cages: Inhumane treatment at the border” and “The Trump Administration’s Child Separation Policy: Substantiated allegations of mistreatment” both held this week.