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APA Statement on the Administration’s Decision to End the Flores Settlement Agreement

  • August 22, 2019

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The American Psychiatric Association (APA) is deeply concerned with the administration’s decision to end the Flores Settlement Agreement, and issued the following statement from APA President Bruce Schwartz, M.D.

“A substantial body of research shows that stressful events during childhood can lead to long-term developmental, learning and health problems, not to mention a heightened risk of depression, anxiety, and posttraumatic stress disorder. The Flores Settlement Agreement was intended to protect the well-being of children who are detained by immigration authorities, but the new rule would endanger their mental health by eliminating the 20-day limit on detainment and weakening licensing requirements of detention centers.

The children and families seeking asylum at the U.S. borders are already coping with the effects of the stress and trauma of leaving their home countries. Compounded by the current conditions of detention centers, we urge the administration to consider the long-lasting, harmful impacts of this policy and withdraw this rule.”

American Psychiatric Association

The American Psychiatric Association, founded in 1844, is the oldest medical association in the country. The APA is also the largest psychiatric association in the world with more than 38,500 physician members specializing in the diagnosis, treatment, prevention and research of mental illnesses. APA’s vision is to ensure access to quality psychiatric diagnosis and treatment. For more information please visit



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