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Statement on Migrant Youth at the Border

In the wake of refugee and migrant families being separated from each other, mass deportations, and the deaths of children and youth while crossing the border, we at Youth MOVE National would like to express our outrage towards the inhumane policies and practices, which serve to cause trauma. We recognize that adverse childhood experiences are extremely damaging and are associated with decreases in life expectancy and quality of life, negatively affecting both this generation and compounding historical traumas based in white supremacy and oppression of marginalized and vulnerable populations.

We denounce the practice of separating refugee families and placing children and youth in unsafe and unsanitary environments that are physically, emotionally, and mentally damaging to their development. We call upon our state and national leaders to allow for mental health professionals, immigration lawyers, and other allies to have access to these facilities and for a comprehensive and transparent review of the condition of these facilities. We also call upon our state and national leaders to cease mass deportations and to provide a pathway for legal immigration that does not result in significant and complex traumas.

Finally, we want to let anyone who is having a difficult time coping with these ongoing violations to human rights know that you are not alone. We see you, we support you. As always, we will continue to advocate for youth voice and rights in the systems that serve them in the face of injustice.

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