At a hearing before the U.S. House of Representatives Homeland Security Committee, U.S. Representative Lauren Underwood (D-IL), who represents much of the outer Chicago suburbs in the lower house of Congress and was a nurse prior to entering politics, asked some very important questions about the barbaric and inhumane migrant family separation policies imposed by the Trump Administration, and U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen’s responses proved how the Trump Administration simply did not consider how barbaric and inhumane separating children from their parents is:
Democrats pressed Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen about her role in the family separations that have occurred as a result of Trump’s zero-tolerance immigration policy in a hearing on Wednesday.
Rep. Lauren Underwood, a freshman Democrat from Illinois, was in the spotlight for her incisive questioning of Nielsen about the psychological and physical trauma children experience when they are separated from their families.
When Underwood asked Nielsen if she knew that being apart from their parents can cause a child to experience “toxic stress,” Nielsen responded that she only knew about the psychological harm that the journey north from Central America could inflict. Nielsen said she was not familiar with the term “toxic stress,” and, throughout the hearing, blamed the parents for not going through official ports of entry — where people are being increasingly turned away.Source
Here’s a video of Underwood’s questioning of Nielsen in regards to the migrant family separation policies of the Trump Administration:
Under questioning from @RepUnderwood, Nielsen admits she was broadly unfamiliar with research indicating kids are traumatized by being separated from their parents before DHS implemented its “zero tolerance” policy pic.twitter.com/tGWnIOQm9S— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) March 6, 2019
It is inherently clear that the highest-ranking official of the Department of Homeland Security has absolutely no clue how the family separation policies that her department implemented have negatively affected children who were separated from their parents. Here’s how separating families hurts children:
The effects of separating families are well-documented. A slew of major medical groups have denounced the practice, citing serious emotional and physical impact on children, both immediate and long-term. Underwood pointed out that the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) had written to DHS six times to explain how family separation hurts children, and has made a number of public statements. According to the AAP, children could suffer from “irreparable” psychological harm as a result of being ripped from their parents and the experience could “disrupt the building of children’s brain architecture.”Source
The people of the 14th Congressional District of Illinois should be proud to be represented by Lauren Underwood, who has done excellent work to hold one of the worst administrations in U.S. history accountable.