In the last 10 years, over 100,000 immigrant parents of U.S. citizen children have been deported from the United States. Largely absent from the discussion is the impact on the 5.5 million U.S. children of unauthorized parents, a population which accounts for 7 percent, or 1 in 14, of all U.S. children.
During several years of the Bush administration, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) intensified enforcement activities through large-scale worksite arrests, home arrests and arrests by local law enforcement. This report analyzes 190 children of arrested parents in 85 families across the United States and finds that these children experienced deeply damaging consequences of parental arrest, detention and deportation. It finds that economic hardship, steep declines in household income and reliance on informal support, community charity, or public assistance were found in many families with arrested parents. Some families lost their homes or their ability to pay rent, while others moved in with relatives to control costs. Parents reported that a large majority of children had difficulties sleeping and eating in the months immediately following raids and other arrests, and a majority of children also cried often and clung to their parents.
The report, produced by the Urban Institute, concludes with recommendations for stakeholders to mitigate the harmful effects of immigration enforcement on children.
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