Art Therapists for Human Rights

Statement on Mental Health & Asylum Seeking Families


Published: 6/5/18


Art Therapists for Human Rights align ourselves with mental health professional associations (e.g., the American Psychological Association, the American Psychoanalytic Association, and the National Association of Social Workers) who have denounced the Trump administration’s current “zero tolerance” immigration policy that separates parents from their children (fleeing their countries to seek asylum in the USA).  As psychotherapists, we have seen the trauma and long-term effects of forced separations of caregivers and their children.  We want our government to do what is just and humane; create immigration policies that do not cause further psychological harm to these asylum seekers and their children.  We urge our government to stop using language that labels these asylum seeking families as “criminals” as “there's nothing illegal about coming to our border and asking for asylum...They are coming to the border, they are presenting themselves to border officials, and they are asking for help. Nothing in our laws or international laws suggest that the appropriate next step is to take those children from their parents in the hopes of deterring other families from exercising their right to seek protection at another nation's” border (Jennifer Nagda, Associate Director for the Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights at the University of Chicago Law School).





Click on this link for a live version of all Art Therapists and allies who have signed:


If you would like to add your name to this statement, please send us an email to:


This statement was mailed and emailed to the White House on 6/15/18.

(Photo above) Artist JR  Lifts child over the border .

this installation was done before this:

Photo: Jose Luis Gonzalez