Questions raised over well-being of immigrant children separated from parents

Rep. DeGette said Democrats plan to request a Congressional hearing on the health and well-being of immigrant children. (Getty/Rex_Wholster)

Rep. Diana DeGette, D-Colo., said Democrats plan to request a Congressional hearing on the health and well-being of immigrant children who have been separated from their parents in a growing crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border.

DeGette made her statement at a U.S. House Energy and Commerce subcommittee hearing while it hosted some of the nation's top health officials—including plenty of Health and Human Services Department representatives—for a hearing on emergency preparedness.

She also referenced a letter sent by ranking member Rep. Frank Pallone, D-N.J., to Sec. Azar regarding the role of the HHS Office of Refugee Resettlement in the matter.

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Her statement also comes as the American Academy of Pediatric Medicine President Colleen Kraft, M.D., told CNN the separations taking place under a crackdown at the border are equivalent to "child abuse."

"We have real concerns about what's happening to these children and we have real concerns about their long-term prospects," DeGette said. "We would hope you would seriously consider this because we are quite concerned about the human aspects of this."