, Center investigator Maria Ramos-Olazagasti explains what research on child development, neuroscience, and trauma tells us about the negative effects of forced separation and detention can have on immigrant families and children. These children may experience traumatic stress that can alter their brain’s structure and functioning and result in difficulties in eating and sleeping or emotional and behavioral problems. Parents’ traumatization may also be felt and internalized by their children.
Immigration remains a challenging and polarizing public policy issue. Fortunately, an abundance of research and data exists on the potential effects of various policies and circumstances on children and families.