Schubert Center Statement on Immigrant and Refugee Children and Youth

Man bent down and tucked into his knees wearing winter clothing and a book bag

The Schubert Center for Child Studies at Case Western Reserve University  is committed to the well-being of all children and young people, and to promoting an equitable environment in which all children can thrive regardless of their country of origin, race, gender, or religion.

In recent weeks and days we have seen a five year-old boy, who is a U.S. citizen and resident of the State of Maryland, detained at the airport for more than four hours, isolated from his waiting mother. We have seen a mother deported, leaving her teenage daughter and son without a parent. We have seen young people with DACA status, who have been living in the United States since childhood, fearful that their lives will be suddenly disrupted through deportation.

The tragedy of these events goes beyond individual stories, each egregious in its own right, to create a climate of fear among our immigrant and refugee children and young people, their families, and their communities. The American Academy of Pediatrics has spoken out about the consequences of children living under this toxic stress of constant fear that they will be ripped away from their parents. Our Centers for Disease Control and virtually all research on human development stresses children’s universal and basic need for safe, stable and nurturing environments.

Far too often in human history the world has stood by as one group or another was singled out and deprived of their rights, dignity, well-being, and even survival. This has never been a proud moment for humanity. We deplore all policies and actions that threaten the well-being of children and young people, their families and communities and promote injustice and discrimination.

We stand firmly with immigrant and refugee children and their families and communities.