Trump administration must provide mental health services to migrant families, federal judge says

A federal judge in California earlier this week ruled that the Trump administration must provide mental health services to thousands of migrant parents and children separated at the U.S.-Mexico border, according to a report.

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Judge John Kronstadt of the U.S. District Court in Los Angeles said that under the “state-created danger” doctrine, the federal government is liable for inflicting psychological trauma on those families separated between 2017 and 2018, the New York Times reported.

A group of migrant families filed a lawsuit against the Trump administration in September, arguing that they suffered “life-altering” trauma that would “continue to affect their mental and emotional well-being for years to come.” Several plaintiffs claimed that for months parents were not given clear information about the whereabouts of their children and were unable to communicate with them on a regular basis.

Tuesday’s decision said these services would include mental health screenings, psychological counseling and possibly other forms of long-term treatment.

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Under the Trump administration’s zero-tolerance policy, the Justice Department began to criminally prosecute and jail adults who crossed the border illegally from Mexico. About 3,000 migrant children were separated as a result, according to figures from the federal government released last month. Following months of public outcry, Trump suspended the policy in June 2018 after a federal judge forced the government to start the process of reunifying families.