APsaA Calls For Protecting "Dreamers"


Psychoanalytic Association Calls on Leaders to Protect Promise to Dreamers

New York, NY - September 19 , 2017 – The American Psychoanalytic Association (APsaA) is encouraged by recent news that President Trump is negotiating a deal with congressional leaders regarding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA) after previously calling for its repeal.

Data shows that being an undocumented immigrant in America can have a significant impact on one’s mental well-being.  Factors including poverty, limited opportunities for employment, poor access to education and health care, discrimination, fear of getting caught, and the trauma from the migration itself, can all contribute to disorders like depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder. Beyond the immediate emotional damage that can be caused by fears of being deported, psychoanalytic clinical work and research with children shows that this damage can have lasting negative effects that impact a victim's entire lifetime. However, recent research has shown that DACA helped counteract these negative outcomes and improved the mental health of Dreamers as well as their children.

“As psychoanalysts we are keenly aware that living in fear of being deported and physically separated from one’s family can have dire consequences,” said Harriet Wolfe, MD, president of the American Psychoanalytic Association. “Furthermore, the announcement by President Trump to rescind DACA created an atmosphere of confusion and anxiety, which in itself is traumatic. We are encouraged that a resolution seems to be progressing.”

The American Psychoanalytic Association is calling for President Trump and our leaders in Congress to keep in place protections for DACA immigrants and their families. 


Media Contact:
Wylie Tene
American Psychoanalytic Association
Director of Public Affairs
212-752-0450 ext. 29