The Quinn Law Firm
Call to schedule a consultation
336-790-4178Greensboro 877-781-8091Toll Free

Research suggests some children of undocumented immigrants suffer

A professor and a dean at a leading university recently published an article that suggests possible cognitive impairment and psychological distress related to the hidden lifestyles of students with undocumented parents. Children of immigrants, where at least one of the parents does not have legal status in America, are said to suffer various types of stress that affect their abilities to live healthy lifestyles and perform to their full academic potentials. The research, conducted outside the state of North Carolina, claims that one of the reasons young people from households where a parent remains undocumented experience stress is because they tend to live with fear that their mother's or father's non-legitimized status will be discovered.

According to statistics, there are more than 11 million undocumented immigrants living and working in the United States. It is said that nearly one out of 15 children in the nation have an undocumented parent. The children, themselves, are often American citizens by birth.

The recent article mentioned more than 50 research projects, suggesting several areas of mental and emotional distress for some students.  Delayed cognitive development, lack of academic performance and extreme states of anxiety were stated as typical problems for students who live with the fear and uncertainty that is common among those whose mother or father does not have legitimate permanent residency. A current estimate suggests that at least six million children suffer adverse effects from having an undocumented parent, even though five million of those children are, themselves, born in America.

Research also suggests that 9 percent more students will acquire some level of college education when their fathers have legalized statuses over those whose fathers remain undocumented. Some have said that threats of deportation must be removed in order for students who have an undocumented parent to be able to prosper as active members of society. North Carolina families that include immigrants of mixed statuses may want to become familiar with the results of current research and seek the advice of professionals with experience in immigration and naturalization law when attempting to determine what programs and options are available in order to help each member of the family become a fully integrated member of our society.

Source: The New York Times, "Think of Undocumented Immigrants as Parents, not Problems", Robert Suro and Marcelo M. Suarez-Orozco, April 27, 2015

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information