Your Board in Action

CalABA Board Adopts LABA Position Paper

Date: 07/11/2018

While thousands of immigrant children remain separated from their parents as a result of the "zero tolerance" policy recently implemented by the current administration, the CalABA Board of Directors would like to share and support the position paper recently published by our colleagues at the Latino Association for Behavior Analysis (LABA). 


LABA Position Paper

As behavior analysts, psychologists, social workers, educators, therapists, students and professionals who work with children and families, we are exceptionally aware of the importance of parents and families maintaining close, continual and intimate connection with their infants, toddlers, adolescents and teens.

We also recognize that in many cases, the forced separations will result in a long- lasting, deleterious impact on these children and families, and that the forced separations may result in long-term trauma and distress to a particularly vulnerable population. Recently, Dr. Marsha Griffin, a pediatrician and co-chair of The American Academy of Pediatrics Special Interest Group on Immigrant Health reported that children forcibly separated from their parents by this policy would be affected by immediate and long-term psychological and medical health problems, including problems with socialization, regressed speech, flattened affect, hypertension, heart disease behavior problems, learning problems, increased risk for suicide, obesity as well as other health-related problems.

Given this, we strongly assert that the recently-rescinded Trump Administration’s “zero tolerance” policy of removing children from their parents is a policy that is inconceivably unfeeling, heartless and inhumane. We strongly assert that unceasing efforts be made to reunify all separated children and their families immediately.

We appeal to those involved that all efforts be made to work actively to reunify the impacted families and to provide the necessary level of support that these children and families will require because of the traumatic effects of the forced separations based on the “zero tolerance” policy.

We appeal to those involved that all efforts be made to provide optimal and on- going medical supports and care to children and families impacted the forced separations.

We appeal that medications (including psychotropics) not be used for the purpose of the behavioral control of children impacted by the forced separations and that any medications be prescribed by medical personnel, and that they only administered when there is documented evidence that truly informed and truly voluntary consent was provided by a parent or legal guardian.

We appeal that all necessary behavioral, psychological and therapeutic supports and services be provided to assist children and families who are impacted by the forced separation and that such services be provided on an ongoing basis.

A policy that forcibly separate children from their parents is extremely cruel and therefore, must be addressed in a systematic, supportive and comprehensive manner. The Trump administration's actions violate the U.S. Constitution, and the due process rights of families to be together with their children. The current policy is a deviation from our country’s traditional polices of decency, morality and fair play.

Please join LABA (Latino Association for Behavior Analysis) and others in asking the Trump Administration and the Department of Homeland Security to create a process to reunify the thousands of children and families separated by this cruel and unconstitutional policy and to immediately begin to provide all needed services and supports to these children and families as well as to demand that our government meet the level of standards of care for all human beings.13124747_156370468098392_339416303750918150_n-22.jpg