Saturday, December 10, 2022

The Biden Administration’s Justice Department Requests Psychological Tests For Parents of Separated Children

The Biden Administration has requested that parents of children separated by the Trump-era family separation policy undergo another round of psychological evaluations to measure their level of trauma.

The request comes in response to a lawsuit by migrants seeking compensation after being separated from their children by the Trump Administration. Many children have yet to be reunited with their families.

The Justice Department attorneys might also have a psychologist examine some of the children who were separated. These evaluations are routine in cases of emotional damages; however, this case is unprecedented because the role of the government in separating families has been public and documented.

Government attorneys said that the migrants “allege that their mental and emotional injuries are ongoing and permanent in nature” and that their injuries are directly tied to the government’s family separation policy. That’s why they believe the government must examine them.

However, the families have already gone through hours-long depositions recounting the events. They have also gone through numerous psychiatric evaluations, and government investigators have said children separated from their parents showed more fear, feelings of abandonment, and post-traumatic stress symptoms than other children.

Some children thought their parents had either abandoned them or had been killed. According to a 2019 report from the Department of Health and Human Services, some children were so distressed that they even developed physical symptoms like chest or heart pain.

Republicans and Democrats had been negotiating a settlement, with President Biden stating that the families deserved compensation. An early proposal of $450,000 per person was reported, and it also included a discussion of granting the families legal U.S. residency and providing counseling services. However, all of these proposals were adamantly opposed by Republicans. The talks ended soon after.

NBC News