On Wednesday, Rep. John Lewis, D-Georgia, opened a series of speeches telling his fellow members of Congress that “as we stand here, a 5-year-old woke up in a cage. … She was taken from her parents, from her brothers and sisters, from all she knows and loves. … This morning, Mr. Speaker, that innocent little child is crying in a cage. And we stand here doing nothing.”

As a law professor who collaborates with doctors through a growing movement of medical-legal partnerships to help people living in poverty, I have seen firsthand how laws and policies can impact the life trajectory of a child. The best thing we can do for that child, and the thousands like her, is to reunite her with her parents immediately. Her lifelong health depends on it.

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