Friday June 22, 2018
Retired judge notes effect of Trump detention policy on children.
I am compelled to write to you now regarding the plight of immigrant children taken from their families at the U.S. border. I am a recently retired juvenile court judge in Berks County with 30 years of experience on a state, national and international level, where I served as a consultant in China on improving their juvenile justice system and presently serve as an auditor for the U.S. Department of Justice in order to improve the juvenile courts of St. Louis County, Mo.
In all those years I have never encountered anything as appalling and inherently evil as my own country engaging in this removal practice to deter illegal immigration or to use as a bargaining chip for a $23 billion border wall.
In the 30,000 or more cases I have presided over in Berks County's delinquency and dependency court, the most common adverse childhood experience in virtually every matter is that the child has not had one or more parent in their lives for any period of time during their formative years. Virtually every professional association concerned with the welfare of children attests to this. When you add to that the way in which this forced removal occurs at the border, the inevitable toxic stress will often lead to irreparable harm, including lifetime physical and mental health problems.
Arthur E. Grim
Long-term harm of splitting families