Trump's treatment of immigrant children in detention camps amounts to 'deliberate, cruel psychological abuse,' one child psychiatrist said.
"This is child abuse and medical neglect," Marsha Griffin, a pediatrician in Texas who visited one detention camp in June, said.
A letter signed by more than 830 doctors and bioethicists described the treatment of children at the detention camps as "ethically abhorrent," and warning "risks are greatest for children, who may suffer serious long-term consequences as a result of the conditions in which they are being held."
The treatment of children violates the "core principles of medical ethics," the letter adds.
Children in Trump's detention camps are crowded into cages, forced to sleep on cold concrete floors, and face outbreaks of scabies and chickenpox while being forced to eat uncooked frozen food. Some are denied the ability to take a shower, and young mothers are forced to hold their infants close all the time just to keep the children warm enough.
Nurses in the areas around the detention camps report seeing children on the verge of dehydration and suffering from severe respiratory distress.
"Border Patrol only brings them in when they're 99% bad. If this is how they treat kids I don't want to know how they treat the parents," a nurse told Buzzfeed.
Children who are torn away from their parents face the threat of even more harm.
"They experienced what I call deliberate, cruel psychological abuse," said Gilbert Kliman, a child psychiatrist who interviewed asylum-seekers, including children who were ripped away from their parents, told Axios.
The treatment of kids by the Trump administration even garnered condemnation from the head of the United Nations' human rights division.
"Detaining a child even for short periods under good conditions can have a serious impact on their health and development — consider the damage being done every day by allowing this alarming situation to continue," United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet said in a statement.
"Most kids will have lasting scars from what they have seen or are enduring right now," Wes Boyd, a psychiatrist and bioethicist at Harvard Medical School, told Axios. "They're going to need as much medical help as they do legal help."
Rep. Judy Chu (D-CA) told Shareblue media in February that "the entire approach of this administration towards immigrant children has been characterized by cruelty."
The Trump administration seems to be going out of its way to prove her correct.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.