Children whose parents are illegal immigrants or who lack legal status themselves face “uniformly negative” effects on their social development from early childhood until they become adults, according to a study by four researchers published Wednesday in the Harvard Educational Review.
The study concluded that more than five million children in the United States are “at risk of lower educational performance, economic stagnation, blocked mobility and ambiguous belonging” because they are growing up in immigrant families affected by illegal status.
The study is the first to pull together field research by social scientists nationwide to track the effects of a family’s illegal immigration status on children from birth until they graduate from college and start to navigate the job market. It covers immigrants from a variety of origins, including Latinos and Asians.
About 5.5 million children in this country have at least one parent who is an illegal immigrant, according to an estimate by the Pew Hispanic Center. Among them, about one million children were brought here illegally by their parents, while about 4.5 million are United States citizens because they were born here.
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About this Study
Jacksonville Community Council Inc. (JCCI) is completing its latest community inquiry, Children 1-2-3: Early Learning for Future Success. This community engagement process has been examining the question, "How can Jacksonville best foster early learning success for children from birth to age 3 in our community?" Over the course of the process (October 2011 through April 2012), the meeting schedule, meeting summaries, key handouts and relevant articles have all been posted here. To find out more, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.