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weekly primer
Jun 26, 2018

Weekly Primer: The Health Care Disaster Following The Family Separation Crisis

The current family separation crisis — in addition to being a legal and human rights disaster — is a health care story. This week, the Department of Health and Human Services is launching an emergency task force to work on reuniting the thousands of families the government forcibly separated — taking steps the agency usually reserves for responding to natural disasters or disease outbreaks. But without a plan in place for the reunifications, attorneys say the process could take months and some parents may never see their children again. While some lawmakers have advocated for the use of DNA testing to help match up the separated families, and the companies MyHeritage and 23andMe have offered free kits to do so, many worry that the mass-collection of immigrants’ DNA poses a serious privacy violation. Lawsuits by migrant parents challenging the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” policy have also cited the health effects of separating and incarcerating children and infants, which experts says is likely…

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