From Guards to Guardians:
Healthy Community Alternatives to Immigrant Detention
From the Children’s Defense Fund – Texas, Authored by:
Cheasty Anderson, M.A., Ph.D.
Luis H. Zayas, Ph.D.
Tatiana Londoño, MSSW
The Children’s Defense Fund-Texas—in partnership with Dr. Luis H. Zayas, Dean of the Steve Hicks SSW at the University of Texas – Austin—released From Guards to Guardians, a report that outlines new research findings in the long-term mental health effects of detention on migrant families, and calls for the implementation of healthy community alternatives to immigration detention.
The report highlights the long-lasting harm inflicted on children and families through the abusive, traumatic, and dehumanizing practice of family detention, focusing on the impact on children’s and parents’ mental health. Further, it outlines the steps we can take to permanently create a more humane immigration system that protects and supports children and families. This research augments a record established by Dr. Zayas in 2014, when he submitted a professional declaration to the ongoing Flores litigation that outlined his deeply disturbing clinical observations.