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SVC-CAMFT's statement on separation during immigration/deportation hearings.

Fri, June 22, 2018 11:04 PM | Heather Blessing

Recently, in solidarity with dozens of organizations and thousands of mental health professionals throughout the country, CAMFT added its support to the Child's World America petition and to Senator Dianne Feinstein's Keep Families Together Act, both of which focus on limiting separation during immigration/deportation hearings.  

As therapists, we all have witnessed the long-term impact of trauma on children’s future development and ability to function in society.  The children and families affected by the zero tolerance policy have already seen enough prior to their arrival to the states.  The forced separation and isolation in the detention centers is a further extension of that trauma.  As CAMFT Executive Director, Nabil El-Ghoroury, PhD stated, "Families who are fleeing violence may have already experienced substantial traumas on their way to the United States.  Parent-child separations like this may worsen the suffering for both the children and the parents".  CAMFT President Jan Mellinger, LMFT added “As Marriage and Family Therapists, we are intimately aware of how separating children from parents can critically harm the family unit and create long-term, adverse effects on both child and parental mental health."

Now we know for a fact that not all of us are going to see eye to eye regarding the issue of immigration reform and the extent of this issue’s impact on our nation, but we have no doubt that we will fully agree on the fact that cruel and inhumane measures with long lasting impacts are not the solution.  As fellow human beings and colleagues in the caring profession, we urge you to consider additional narratives other than the one that is being portrayed in the mainstream forums about this tragedy. We are not witnessing the enforcement of a public policy aimed at protecting our sovereignty. We are witnessing humanity at its worst.  

Whether you are reading this message with your emotional heart or intellectual mind, we are very certain that you will reach the same conclusion. We must make a stand and put an end to this calamity. Please make your voice heard by writing and/or calling your state representatives as CAMFT suggests. 

SVC-CAMFT also encourages you to get involved in our Community Assistance and Resource Effort (CARE) Task Force.  CARE will be holding a volunteer recruitment meeting on Saturday, July 14 from 10:00am to noon at 910 Florin Road, Suite 104, Sacramento for those who want to help SVC-CAMFT to continue to provide timely assistance and resources for tragedies, crises of social injustice, or natural disasters affecting those directly and indirectly in the greater Sacramento area.

Best Regards,


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