Exploring Human Potential

AAFP: 2018 Statement on DHS Family Separation



June 16, 2018

The American Academy of Family Physicians opposes the forced separation of children from their families or caregivers during border crossings unless the child’s immediate physical or emotional health or safety is at risk.

While the AAFP is aware of the Department of Homeland Security’s “zero-tolerance” policy, we also recognize and appreciate the gravity of the long-term harm that can be caused by forced separation at this critical and stressful time for a family.

Once on American soil, regardless of their citizenship status, migrating children are the concern of the American Academy of Family Physicians. This stance is consistent with our policies on Providing Medical Care to Undocumented Persons, Reporting Residency Status of Patients, and the Family Physician’s Creed.

We stand with our fellow medical societies in urging the federal government to withdraw its policy of requiring separation of migrating children from their caregivers, and instead, give priority to supporting families and protecting the health and well-being of the children within those families.

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