U.S. Rep. Lauren Underwood is calling attention to the findings of a new report on post-traumatic stress and other mental health problems found among migrant children separated from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border.
The inspector general’s office in the Department of Health and Human Services released the report this week.
It is the first substantial accounting by a government agency on how the Trump administration’s family separation policies have affected the mental health of migrant children, according to a news release.
“The trauma was undeniable when I went to see the conditions at the border first-hand, where I saw sad, sick children in obvious distress,” Underwood, D-Naperville, said in the release.
In March, Underwood questioned then-Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen about the effects of the child separation policy.
Underwood said in her statement that Nielsen “seemed unaware of the most basic facts and was completely unprepared” to answer questions about the effects on the children.
While some policies have changed, Underwood said, she thought President Donald Trump’s administration wasn’t doing enough to protect migrants.
“I’ve said it over and over – this is unacceptable, it’s un-American, and it’s not making us safer, but it’s more than that,” she said in the release. “We are better than this.”