Tell Congress: Investigate the harmful health effects of family detention NOW.
Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs
Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions
House Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor, Pensions
Senate Committee on the Judiciary
House Committee on the Judiciary
To the Chairmen and Ranking Members:
I join Physicians for Human Rights and the larger medical community to urge Congress to immediately hold hearings into the adverse health effects of family detention, with the aim of ending this crisis and mitigating its harms.
I also stand with Dr. Scott Allen and Dr. Pamela McPherson in their courageous effort to expose the high risk of harm posed by the Trump administration’s “zero-tolerance” immigration policies to detained children and families. These risks are expected to escalate dramatically as a result of the family separation crisis and its administrative fallout.
As Dr. Allen and Dr. McPherson’s letter to the Senate Whistleblower Protection Caucus documents, this policy has been ill-conceived and poorly implemented, and threatens significant physical and mental health consequences to the thousands of innocent children currently in detention.
Their investigations uncovered the following examples, among others:
- a 16-month-old baby who lost a third of his body weight over ten days because of untreated diarrheal disease;
- a 27-day-old infant who was born during his mother's journey but was not examined by a physician until he had a seizure due to undiagnosed bleeding of the brain;
- numerous children vaccinated with adult doses of vaccine; and
- numerous severe finger injuries (including lacerations and fractures) due to springloaded closure of heavy doors in a converted medium-security prison.
This ongoing tragedy must be stopped – and I expect you, as an elected representative, to respond immediately to this human rights crisis.
[First Name] [Last Name]