In America today, history is repeating itself with ardent voices calling for division between “aliens” and “nationals,” instilling an “us” versus “them” mentality. What is happening under our watch is eerily reminiscent of the internment camps of World War II and the separation of individuals based on ethnicity that we have seen throughout history. We have created a climate of widespread fear, detaining immigrants and asylum seekers in abhorrent conditions, without a basic standard of care, and separating parents from children.
For children who have been reunited with their parents, though, the damage may have already been done. Let’s discuss some of the key consequences associated with parental-child separation in detail, starting with the notion of toxic stress.