Declaration of David B. Thronson Discussing Trauma and the Neurobiological Health and Well Being of Children (March 30, 2020) [pdf]

This Declaration was filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia in O.M.G. vs Wolf on March 30, 2020. The Declaration discusses the dangers for children in DHS family detention centers, the risks posed by the COVID-19 pandemic and provides an excellent overview with social science research data support of the impact of trauma for immigrant children in their neurobiological, cognitive, and psychological development and children’s health and well-being. The affidavit also discusses the impact on immigrant children of the multiple traumas they have experienced across their lifetimes including both suffering abuse themselves and witnessing harms perpetrated on their parents. Additionally, the affidavit contains a discussion of the limited procedural protections children have in the U.S. immigration system including many children having to navigate the immigration court system without access to counsel. The declaration was submitted in support of a case seeking release of children and their parents from DHS family detention centers.