“Recognizing that immigrants to the United States experience unique stresses, prejudice and poverty and can be considered at-risk populations for health, emotional and behavioral problems,” the American Psychological Association has called on Donald Trump to “preserve” the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program:
“As psychologists, we are committed to policies that keep families together,” said APA President Antonio E. Puente, PhD. “Psychological research shows that the combined experiences of exposure to violence and displacement from home countries at an early age can have long-lasting negative consequences for cognitive, emotional, social and physical development. We do not believe that it is safe or ethical to send young immigrants back to dangerous conditions that they or their parents fled.”
Immigrant youth have been living under increased stressors due to fear of being separated from their U.S. home and the threat of having their work permits and protection from deportation rescinded. According to a recent Rice University study of immigrant youth, “more than 90 percent of all respondents cited the loss of their home, social status, family, and symbolic self as reasons for mental health distress.”
“These young people,” said Puente, “many of whom refer to themselves as ‘dreamers’ … have complied with the DACA program’s requirements regarding educational attainment and/or military service. We, in turn, need to keep our commitment to provide a safe haven to them.”
Stand by immigrant youth and DACA by visiting Defend DACA today and making a call to your member of Congress.