United States.- Joe Biden, the president of the United States, assured this Wednesday that he will carry out evaluations to determine the psychological damage to migrant parents who were separated from their children by policies of his predecessor, Donald Trump.
In a lawsuit filed by migrants, they are asking for government compensation after thousands of children were separated from their parents in a policy described as inhumane by political and religious leaders around the world. Negotiations for a settlement between attorneys for the plaintiffs and the government broke down last year.
Attorneys for the Department of Justice have reserved the right to examine the children who were separated, if necessary. Assessments are routine in emotional abuse lawsuits, but these cases are unusual because the government’s role in the trauma of parents and children caused by separations has been well documented.
“President Biden called Trump’s family separations criminal and a moral stain on the nation, but now the government is hiring doctors to try to say families didn’t suffer as much,” said Lee Gelernt, deputy director of the Children’s Rights Project. Immigrants for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and attorney for the plaintiffs in the effort to compensate migrants.
According to government attorneys, the migrants “claim that their mental and emotional injuries are of a persistent and permanent nature” and that they are directly related to government policy. They say it is necessary for the government to have its own opportunity to examine them.
The requests came in two cases filed by 11 families. There are almost two dozen similar cases pending in other courts and some have already undergone the psychiatric evaluations requested by the government.
But the parents have already offered hours of statements in which they narrated in detail what happened. Government researchers have said that children separated from their parents showed more fear, feelings of abandonment and post-traumatic stress symptoms than children who were not separated.
Some children believed that their parents had abandoned them or had killed them. For some, the mental trauma caused physical symptoms, such as chest or heart pain, according to a 2019 report by the inspector general’s office at the Department of Health.
Parents studied by Physicians for Human Rights, a nonprofit organization of physicians working to document human rights violations, exhibited suicidal thoughts and suffered from a range of problems, including nightmares, depression, anxiety, panic, worry and sleep difficulties. .
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Officials in the Biden administration have lamented the policies of the Trump era. Democrat Biden said on his campaign that those policies were “a scandal, a moral failing, and a stain on our national character.”
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