The American Nurses Association (ANA) adamantly opposes the Administration’s policy and practices toward migrants and asylum seekers that result in the forcible separation of children from their families. These actions put the welfare of immigrant children at risk and are causing irreparable harm, such as, negative physical and emotional symptoms from separation and detention, including anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. Unfortunately, the Department of Homeland Security has already acknowledged that 1,995 children have been separated from their families at the U.S.–Mexico border between April 19 and May 31. ANA condemns the use of this policy to create a deterrent for those seeking a safer and better place to live and believes that children should never be used as leverage or as a negotiating tool. The Code of Ethics for Nurses with Interpretive Statements (ANA, 2015) calls on all nurses to always act to preserve the human rights of vulnerable groups such as children, women and refugees. The United States of America is better than this. We cannot continue with a policy that is so immoral and cruel to children and families.
ANA calls for the following actions:
- Urges the Administration to immediately end the forced separation of families at the border;
- Calls for reunification of separated families without delay; and
- Calls on policymakers and administration officials to establish compassionate immigration policies that reflect the humanity and human rights of all people.
The American Nurses Association (ANA) is the premier organization representing the interests of the nation’s 4 million registered nurses. ANA advances the nursing profession by fostering high standards of nursing practice, promoting a safe and ethical work environment, bolstering the health and wellness of nurses, and advocating on health care issues that affect nurses and the public. ANA is at the forefront of improving the quality of health care for all. For more information, visit www.nursingworld.org.