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Immigration

Supporting legislation to improve health standards for immigrants

APA Services sends a letter to key legislators to show support for immigrants in the Children’s Safe Welcome Act including specific provisions for mental health.

Cite this
American Psychological Association. (2022, August 18). Supporting legislation to improve health standards for immigrants. https://www.apaservices.org/advocacy/news/health-standards-immigrants

A group of immigrants standing outside

On August 3, APA Services sent a letter (PDF, 272KB) to Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Senator Jacky Rosen (D-NV), and Representative Karen Bass (D-CA) in support of the Children’s Safe Welcome Act (S. 4529/H.R. 8349). The bill helps immigrant children by improving health standards for families in Customs and Border Protection facilities, prohibiting both family separations and information sharing for unaccompanied children.

In the letter, APA’s chief advocacy officer, Katherine McGuire, MSc, explained that the association has long supported keeping families together and strongly supports these provisions in the legislation. She also emphasized that research shows that the longer parents and children are separated, the greater the symptoms of anxiety and depression are for the children. The letter went on to explain that APA Services also strongly supports the provisions in the bill that protect the confidentiality of the medical information gathered during immigration proceedings. APA has been active in protecting these records for children and families.

APA Services also expressed support for the mental health provisions in the bill and explained that the association fully supports providing trauma training to employees and requiring that child protection professionals have experience providing trauma-informed care to children who have experienced trauma. The letter offered APA members to assist with trainings and services.

Finally, APA Services showed support for the provisions in the bill that mandate access for members of Congress and their staff to visit these federal immigration facilities.

For more information, contact Serena Dávila.