Expert condemns practice of splitting families at border

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BROOKLYN -

Mental health experts say the trauma children suffer after being separated from their families can have a negative impact on the victims as they grow up.

After much criticism, President Donald Trump signed an executive order Wednesday to reverse his own administration's practice of tearing families apart after entering the country without permission. 

Dr. Bebsy Estefan, a clinical child psychiatrist at St. Barnabas Hospital, says children can develop trouble sleeping, depression and attachment issues if they are taken from their parents.

"Separation from parents carries a high risk that children develop anxiety and mood disorders," she says.

Even teenagers can have trouble readjusting after a forced split from their families.

Estefan is an immigrant from Cuba herself. She says people coming to the United States seeking asylum are mainly trying to escape poverty and violence in their home countries.

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