- CforC —
- Community for Children
- ORR —
- Office of Refugee Resettlement
- UAC —
- unaccompanied alien children
- UTHSCSA —
- University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio
Prolonged fear can have deleterious effects on the trajectory of a child’s health and can be considered “toxic stress.”1 Hundreds of thousands of Hispanic children living along the Texas-Mexico border are exposed to fear and discrimination on a daily basis.
The authors have 35 years combined experience advocating for such children. Dr Son, a professor of pediatrics in the Division of Critical Care at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (UTHSCSA), has extensive experience teaching and providing medical care on the Texas-Mexico border and areas of limited resources. Dr Griffin is a pediatrician at Brownsville Community Health Center, a federally qualified health center in south Texas, and is clinical faculty at UTHSCSA. Eliot Shapleigh served as Texas state senator from 1997 to 2011. Senator Shapleigh’s political career continues to focus on the needs of border children.
In 2006, Drs Son and Griffin cofounded Community for Children (CforC), a UTHSCSA-sponsored international elective in community pediatrics on the Texas-Mexico border. Its focus is to train young physicians to address social justice issues. Information can be found at www.communityforchildren.org. Senator Eliot Shapleigh is a frequent visiting speaker with CforC.
The authors believe that the children’s situation along the Texas-Mexico border has become dire. We write this perspective to inform other pediatricians and to solicit their advocacy on behalf of these children. Two institutions have done the most research on these children: the Women’s Refugee Commission and the Vera Institute. More information regarding these institutions and the results of their research can be found in the …
Address correspondence to Marsha Griffin, MD, Brownsville Community Health Center, 191 East Price Rd, Brownsville, TX 78521. E-mail: