Faculty Supervisor

Cynthia L. Miller

Research Area

Family and Consumer Sciences


The separation of immigrant children from their families, particularly during asylum processes, has profound negative effects on the children's mental and physical well-being. Studies indicate that children separated from their parents face trauma, anxiety, despair, and enduring psychological challenges. Young children are particularly vulnerable due to their dependence on parents for security. The repercussions of separation include attachment difficulties, developmental delays, and severe mental health issues. Historically, family separations gained significant attention during the Trump administration's "zero tolerance" policy. Although the Biden administration has indicated a shift away from such practices, challenges remain. For a holistic approach, the U.S. should prioritize family unity by expanding legal immigration pathways, reforming asylum procedures, and expanding social services and legal representation.