Psychologist: Children separated at border will be ‘scarred for life’

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IRVINGTON -

A psychologist in Scarsdale says children who have been split from their families after illegal border crossings are likely to be “scarred for life.”

Dr. Harris Stratyner spoke to News 12 Thursday in the wake of President Trump’s executive order Wednesday that ended the policy of child-parent separation after illegal border crossings. However, thousands of families are still separated, and 700 of those children are in New York facilities. Four of those facilities are in Westchester.

“In many cases, these children will be scarred and in therapy for life,” says Dr. Stratyner. “It can result in alcoholism and drug usage and result in kids not going to college or dropping out of high school.”

Dr. Stratyner says the damage is already done.

“We talk about border security, some of these kids may grow up being some of the worst criminals given what's happened to them,” he says.

Some of the children have been placed in Irvington at The Children's Village. The president of The Children's Village could only say that the kids have made contact with their parents.

Officials there and at the facilities in Yonkers, Dobbs Ferry and Somers referred News 12 to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, which has not responded.

It remains unclear how the federal government plans to reunite families with their children. President Trump's order does not contain any procedures on that.

Federal gag orders prevent News 12 from knowing the exact number of children being held in Westchester.

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