First Advisor

Joanna Bartlo

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Psychology and University Honors






Noncitizen detention centers -- United States, Psychic trauma in children, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement -- Rules and practice, Refugee children -- Psychology




Many people are immigrating to the United States across the Southern border. While attempting to cross, they are often caught and detained by U.S. government officials where they are placed in detention centers around the country. The conditions in which immigrants are being held in Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention centers are cruel and lack basic human resources. Groups are separated, including parents from children, and often never reunited. Holding cells lack clean water, adequate food, beds, warmth, and privacy. There are numerous abuse allegations reporting misconduct towards adults and children. Many documented instances have shown medical malpractice, including unneeded sterilization. Children are forced to navigate this dangerous system without the support of their family or trusted adults. The conditions in which immigrants are being held are traumatic. This trauma can cause severe and lasting psychological and health effects, especially when not appropriately treated. This is especially damaging to children and their developing brains. What is occurring in these U.S. government centers is inhumane, unethical and abusive. There needs to be an entire immigration system overhaul, with a focus on improving conditions and streamlining the path of acceptance into the United Sates.


In Copyright. URI: This Item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. You are free to use this Item in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. For other uses you need to obtain permission from the rights-holder(s).


An undergraduate honors thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Bachelor of Science in University Honors and Psychology and Mathematics for Middle School Teachers.

Persistent Identifier