Equity & Diversity Report Roundup

Study: Illegal Status Harmful to Children

By Sarah D. Sparks — September 27, 2011 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Many immigrants come to the United States seeking a better life for their children, but a new report says children who come to the country illegally face worse social and academic development as they grow.

The report, published as part of a special fall issue on immigration in the Harvard Educational Review, is the first to analyze research on the effect of living in a family of uncertain immigration status on children from early childhood through their entry to college and career.

Researchers from Harvard University and New York University estimate one in 10 children and adolescents—about 5.5 million nationwide—grow up with at least one parent “unauthorized,” and 1 million of those children have that status themselves. The researchers found a “consistent pattern” across studies of education, health, labor, and other areas: “The effects of unauthorized status on development across the lifespan are uniformly negative, with millions of U.S. children and youth at risk of lower educational performance, economic stagnation, blocked mobility, and ambiguous belonging.”

Even when children had U.S. citizenship themselves, they had less access to early-childhood education and services, from Head Start to health care, because parents either did not know how or were afraid to apply for them. The study found such children also were more likely than other children to live in poverty and in racially and linguistically isolated communities, to attend poorly supported schools, and to be absent from school.

Those immigrant parents were less likely to be involved in their childrens education, in part because of fear of drawing the attention of authorities, and the students lived in perpetual fear of being separated from their families because of deportation, according to the report.

Related Tags:

A version of this article appeared in the September 28, 2011 edition of Education Week as Study: Illegal Status Harmful to Children


Commenting has been disabled on edweek.org effective Sept. 8. Please visit our FAQ section for more details. To get in touch with us visit our contact page, follow us on social media, or submit a Letter to the Editor.


Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Teaching Webinar
6 Key Trends in Teaching and Learning
As we enter the third school year affected by the pandemic—and a return to the classroom for many—we come better prepared, but questions remain. How will the last year impact teaching and learning this school
Content provided by Instructure
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Equity & Diversity Webinar
Evaluating Equity to Drive District-Wide Action this School Year
Educational leaders are charged with ensuring all students receive equitable access to a high-quality education. Yet equity is more than an action. It is a lens through which we continuously review instructional practices and student
Content provided by BetterLesson
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Well-Being Webinar
Attendance Awareness Month: The Research Behind Effective Interventions
More than a year has passed since American schools were abruptly closed to halt the spread of COVID-19. Many children have been out of regular school for most, or even all, of that time. Some
Content provided by AllHere

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Equity & Diversity Reported Essay What the Indian Caste System Taught Me About Racism in American Schools
Born and raised in India, reporter Eesha Pendharkar isn’t convinced that America’s anti-racist efforts are enough to make students of color feel like they belong.
7 min read
Conceptual Illustration
Pep Montserrat for Education Week
Equity & Diversity Reported Essay Our Student Homeless Numbers Are Staggering. Schools Can Be a Bridge to a Solution
The pandemic has only made the student homelessness situation more volatile. Schools don’t have to go it alone.
5 min read
Conceptual illustration
Pep Montserrat for Education Week
Equity & Diversity How Have the Debates Over Critical Race Theory Affected You? Share Your Story
We want to hear how new constraints on teaching about racism have affected your schools.
1 min read
Illustrations.
Mary Hassdyk for Education Week
Equity & Diversity Opinion When Educational Equity Descends Into Educational Nihilism
Schools need to buckle down to engage and educate kids—not lower (or eliminate) expectations in the name of “equity.”
3 min read
Image shows a multi-tailed arrow hitting the bullseye of a target.
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty