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    The Impact of United States Immigration Informant Policy

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    Research studies focused on the impact of United States Immigration Informant Policy, which involved the involuntary separation of immigrant children from their parents, and the implication of this has had on the child’s healthy well-being. Using a longitude study interview process to collect data of two studies.

    The conducted between the years of 2003-2006, and the second study conducted between 2009-2012. Dreby, (2015), used interviews on children and their parents/guardians in both the United States and in Mexico, to assess the separations effects on the families and the potential impacts on the children’s well-being. Dreby’s results from interviews showed that separation yielded negative consequences for children’s emotional well-being. Dreby also, conducted in-depth observations and field work with 24 families.

    These results from the observation field study showed that the children expressed and showed fear of police or other authority figures, this fear is associate with how they were treated by immigration officers. As well as show signs of anxiety, PTSD, fear of safety and depression along with behavioral issues have all been reported by parents and others associated with these children. As well as report emotional distress and resentment toward their parents and authorities (Dreby, 2015).

    Also, being forcibly separated from their parents/care givers, as well as the inadequate conditions of these facilities. They also pointed out the need for more research as there is limited research that has demonstrated the high rates of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and clinical depression among detained immigrant children. (MacLean, Agyeman, Walther, Singer, Baranowski, & Katz, 2019).

    Their study was conducted by doing a two month cross-sectional study, where they studied the mental health of children held in US immigration detention. They used interviews from mothers of children ranging from 4-17 years old. They used a (SDQ) or Parent-report Strength and Difficulties Questionnaire, as well as the UCLA Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Reaction Index (PTSD-RI). Among all the children showed signs of elevated scores for emotional problems, and experienced peer problems, as well as had difficulties on the SQD.

    The younger aged children in the study showed difficulties associated with conduct hyperactivity compared to the older children. When comparing children who had been forcibly separated from their mothers and children that where not separated from their mothers, exhibited considerably more emotional issue, and difficulties. Children that completed the PTSD-RI, had a diagnosis of PTSD.

    Also, all the children showed at least one emotional or behavioral issue (MacLean, Agyeman, Walther, Singer, Baranowski, & Katz, 2019). This data collected concluded that children being held in immigration detention experience high levels of mental health issues. As well as suggest that these children would benefit from mental health screening, as well as culturally-responsive and trauma mental health care. That should continue after being released (MacLean, Agyeman, Walther, Singer, Baranowski, & Katz, 2019).

    In reference to immigrant children being separated from their parents or witnessing their parents being removed is a threat to these children physical security and their sense of safety. This will cause these children to live in a constant fight or flight response. Living in a constant fight or flight response may cause structural changes in the brain, leading to developmental issues as well as PTSD.

    Symptoms of these and other psychological issues may include but are not limited to, ongoing emotional upset, depressive symptoms, anxiety, difficulties in self-regulation, loss of previously learn skills, behavioral difficulties, and being able to form attachment to others, just to name a few. These psychological issues will interfere in their daily life and their healthy well-being. As well as be continues throughout their life into their adulthood (NCTSN, 2019).

    Ottisova & Katona, (2018), focused on the mental health consequences of immigrant adults’ adolescents and children being detained at the US southern border. Past studies had shown that there was consistent evidence that the immigrants detained and separated from their families in these facilities showed signs of harmful effects to their mental health.

    After reviewing many on going and currant research into this issues they found that there is an increase in higher levels of mental health issues, which include depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder. These levels have been compared to immigrants that had not been detained. These new findings depended on the duration of time spent in one of many detention facilities.

    Through von Werthern, Robjant, Chui, Schon, Ottisova, Mason, & Katona, (2018) study concluded that immigration officials should place more consideration on the mental health consequences of separation and detention-related harm. As well as a suggestion on minimizing the time these families are detained and or separated (von Werthern, Robjant, Chui, Schon, Ottisova, Mason, & Katona, 2018)

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    The Impact of United States Immigration Informant Policy. (2021, Sep 24). Retrieved from

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