Immigrant Detention of Families and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

5 Pages Posted: 20 Dec 2018

Date Written: November 20, 2018


Family separations and detention due to immigration policies are traumatizing events that have a profound impact on the children and young adults involved. American society responded strongly and vociferously in 2018 to the news that children were being separated from parents, partially because the experience is widely recognized as being traumatic. The after-effects from harrowing occurrences might cause immigrants to suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), a condition of persistent mental and emotional stress occurring as a result of severe psychological shock. PTSD can even manifest into physical symptoms that lead to illness and other impairments. The purpose of this paper is to explore how young victims react emotionally to the difficult challenges of risking entry, being detained, waiting for judicial hearings and then fearing deportation for years. The presentation will also evaluate the issues policymakers and judges face in solving these critical problems to address the mental well-being of those involved.

Keywords: Immigration Policy, Family Separations, Unaccompanied Minors, PTSD, Youth Detention

Suggested Citation

Han, Seunghan and Choi, Hyunkyung, Immigrant Detention of Families and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (November 20, 2018). RAIS Conference Proceedings - The 11th International RAIS Conference on Social Sciences. Available at SSRN: or

Seunghan Han (Contact Author)

Independent ( email )

No Address Available

Hyunkyung Choi

Independent ( email )

No Address Available

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