US Children with Parents in Deportation Proceedings
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While policy makers and researchers generally focus on the effects of deportation on crime rates and deportees, the effects of parental deportation and detention on children are often overlooked. This chapter seeks to fill this gap, finding that parental arrest often leads to loss of earnings, dependence on public assistance and charity, and increased family hardship. In addition, the resulting separation results in significant trauma and stress for both children and parents. Using in-depth interviews conducted over 2 years, the authors were able to track children and parents during the immediate and longer-term aftermath of a workplace raid or other parental arrest. They found that detained migrant parents reported increased stress, anxiety, and mental health challenges, as well as increased physical health challenges. Parents also reported that a majority of children in the study exhibited important behavioral changes. It is clear that current US immigration policies have substantial consequences for families with children, which will require large-scale policy changes in order to ameliorate these effects on immigrant children, many of who are US citizens.
KeywordsSupplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Obama Administration Unauthorized Immigrant Mental Health Challenge Immigration Enforcement
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