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FACING OUR FUTURE: Children in the Aftermath of Immigration Enforcement Ajay Chaudry, Randy Capps, Juan Manuel Pedroza Rosa Maria Castaneda, Rob Santos,

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Presentation on theme: "FACING OUR FUTURE: Children in the Aftermath of Immigration Enforcement Ajay Chaudry, Randy Capps, Juan Manuel Pedroza Rosa Maria Castaneda, Rob Santos,"— Presentation transcript:

1 FACING OUR FUTURE: Children in the Aftermath of Immigration Enforcement Ajay Chaudry, Randy Capps, Juan Manuel Pedroza Rosa Maria Castaneda, Rob Santos, Molly Scott The Urban Institute XV Regional Conference on Migration Seminar on Family and Migration Institute Nacional de Migracion, Mexico April 21, 2010

2 Brief Background on children of immigrants in the United States Description of Study Findings Family Separation Family Well-Being Child Behavior Policy Recommendations Overview

3 12 million unauthorized immigrants in the U.S. & 8.3 million in the U.S. labor force (March 2008) 5.5 million children with unauthorized immigrant parents (March 2008) 4 million children of unauthorized immigrants were born in the United States (March 2008) Between 1998 and 2007, over 100,000 immigrant parents of U.S. citizen children have been deported from the United States (U.S. DHS OIG) Sources: Passel & Cohn, 2009, “A Portrait of Unauthorized Immigrants in the United States,” Pew Hispanic Center; Department of Homeland Security, Office of Inspector General, 2009, “Removals Involving Illegal Alien Parents of United States Citizen Children.” Children of Immigrants in the U.S.

4 Builds off Paying the Price study in 2007 (study of three worksite raid sites) Capture long-term raid impacts and community responses Study multiple types of enforcement activities beyond worksite raids Monitor changes in enforcement policies and practices over this time Represent the diversity of populations and communities affected by immigration enforcement Document more thoroughly family and child well-being at multiple points (short-term and longer term after arrests) Understand how enforcement and community contexts affect community responses Goals of the Study

5 What are the effects of enforcement on parent-child separation? How do these effects differ in the short and longer terms? What are some of the specific effects of enforcement actions on children’s well-being? What economic hardships do families face? What changes in children’s behavior are reported at home or in schools? What services and social support did immigrant families receive in the immediate and long-term aftermath of parental arrests? Research Questions

6 THE URBAN INSTITUTE / Washington, D.C. In-depth qualitative interviews Parent interview protocol Family characteristics before arrest Arrest circumstances and outcomes Family economic hardship Parental mental health and child behavior Informal and formal assistance Community interview protocol Comparison across sites Local economies and immigrant communities faith-based, nonprofit, community-based, and public response Study Methods

7 Grand Island, NE – December 2006 worksite raid New Bedford, MA – March 2007 worksite raid Van Nuys, CA – February 2008 worksite raid Postville, IA – May 2008 worksite raid Rogers and Springdale, AR – Ongoing local law enforcement of immigration violations since 2007 Miami, FL – Ongoing Fugitive Operations Team (FOT) arrests Study Sites

8 THE URBAN INSTITUTE / Washington, D.C. Diverse set of families capture a range of experiences 85 families and 190 children Arrested Parents Countries of Origin: Mexico (46); Guatemala (19); Other Central and South America (11) Haiti (9) Average length of time in U.S.: 9 years Study Respondents

9 Children in Study Table 1.4: Characteristics of Children in Study Sample Child age GenderAll childrenU.S.-born children MaleFemaleNumber Percent of total Number Percent of age group 0 to %46100% 3 to %3489% 6 to %3148% 12 to %1333% Total %12466% Source: Urban Institute surveys of families in study sites. Note: Does not include three children (out of 190) whose parent did not provide age or nativity.

10 About half of families (42 parents) had arrested parent released the same day; About half detained for day(s) to month(s); More than 20 percent detained more than one month. Respondents in Van Nuys and Postville were released most regularly Follows ICE’s new humanitarian guidelines of November 2007 In Arkansas and Miami, separation was more frequent and longer because: humanitarian guidelines did not apply arrests are not usually high profile Family, spouses, and extended family step in 20 families (and 49 children) experienced a parent’s deportation 8 cases some or all children returned to parents’ country of origin 12 cases children remained in the U.S. separated from one parent 9 deported to Guatemala, 7 to Mexico, 4 to Haiti Family Separation

11 Family Separation After Parental Arrest Table2.1: Length of Separation of Parents from Children for Sample Respondents Site Length of Separation TOTAL Released same day 1 day– 1 week 1 week– 1 month 1 month– 6 months > 6 months a Grand Island, NE New Bedford, MA Van Nuys, CA Postville, IA Miami MSA, FL Rogers-Springdale, AR TOTAL Source: Urban Institute surveys of families in study sites. a. Includes four cases in which parents were still detained at the time of interview.

12 Changes in economic hardship Lost employment and income Difficulty paying bills Housing instability Crowded housing Frequent moves Loss of home ownership Food Insecurity Family Well-Being

13 Food Hardship Table 3.3: Short- and Long-Term Food Hardship in Households Following Arrest Food hardship item a Time Elapsed (UI Sample) National * Less than 6 months (n=54) More than 6 months (n=46) Food bought didn’t last and respondent didn’t have money to get more72.5%82.6%12.4% Respondent couldn’t afford to eat balanced meals60.0%78.3%11.3% Adults cut the size of meals or skipped meals64.0%60.9%6.5% Respondent ate less than felt he/she could57.1%57.8%6.5% Respondent was hungry but couldn’t afford to eat22.0%28.3%3.3% Source: Urban Institute surveys of families in study sites. Note: Actual numbers for individual items may sometimes be lower because of refusals or missing data. * These statistics come from Mark Nord, Margaret Andrews, and Steven Carlson, 2008, Household Food Security in the United States, 2007, ERR-66, Washington, DC: USDA, Economic Research Service.

14 Child Behavior: Short Term A majority of children exhibited changes in eating, sleeping and crying (often changed in tandem) More than half of children cried or felt afraid Anxious, withdrawn, clingy, and aggressive behavior were frequent but less common Table 4.1: Children Experiencing Behavior Changes in Four Sites (Short-Term Interviews) Age groupEatingSleepingCryingAfraidAnxiousWithdrawnClingy Angry or aggressive 0 to 562%55%61%43%38%16%42%36% 6 to 1181%69%60%61%46%51%42%37% 12 to 1761%79%57%60%43%62%35%34% All ages68%66%60%54%42% 40%36% Source: Urban Institute surveys of families in study sites. More than 3 out of 5 children exhibited 3 or more behavior changes Children separated from parents or whose parents were arrested at home experienced more severe effects

15 Child Behavior: Long Term Child behavioral changes remained relatively high but did not intensify for most children Some children seemed to adjust somewhat in the longer term Approximately one third of all children experienced 4 or more changes Withdrawal and aggression were especially persistent among children separated from parents for long periods Table 4.3: Children Experiencing Behavior Changes in Six Sites (Long-Term Interviews) Age groupEatingSleepingCryingAfraidAnxiousWithdrawnClingy Angry or aggressive 0 to 539%30%48%21%7%17%56%18% 6 to 1156%46%52%35% 54%63%56% 12 to 1729%53%35%55%31%67%38%56% All ages43%41%47%33%23%43%54%41% Source: Urban Institute surveys of families in study sites

16 Longer family separations associated with more acute and continuing children’s behavior changes Home raids, particularly where parents witnessed parent’s arrest particularly traumatic Fear of immigration officials a source of anxiety for some Frustration can result in externalizing behavior Though rare, a few regressed in some areas of development Children adjusted with support from at home and at school Children’s Responses

17 CHANGES TO CURRENT IMMIGRATION LAW Restore judicial discretion that existed in immigration law prior to 1996 that would allow judges to take children’s best interests into account during deportation proceedings; Provide minor children representation before the court (through court appointed legal guardian) to petition for a parent’s lawful admission and residency Policy Recommendations

18 CHANGES TO CURRENT IMMIGRATION ENFORCEMENT POLICIES AND PRACTICES Maintain the de facto moratorium on worksite raids Allow alternatives to detention for arrested parents including more supervised releases Extend release guidelines to non work-site enforcement arrests Allow parents who have a potentially valid claim the opportunity to work Issue work permits and expedite visas for victims of crimes Facilitation of family contact for those in detention Improve screening and data collection on arrests, deportations ICE should develop plans alongside other agencies (federal and state departments of education and social services) to promote the well-being of children Policy Recommendations

19 CHANGES TO RESPONSE EFFORTS AND SERVICES TO AFFECTED FAMILIES AND CHILDREN Ensure schools and early childhood programs receive early alerts from ICE and local law enforcement Trusted community actors should educate parents about enforcement protocols and changes Child welfare agencies should consider avenues to protect and advance the interests of children affected by enforcement operations Networks of deportation defense lawyers should be established Trusted community institutions should coordinate legal and humanitarian assistance NGOs, alongside governments, should consider strategies for coordinating health and education services for citizen children who cross back and forth between nations as a result of parental deportation Policy Recommendations

20 This work documents some experiences, but some unanswered questions, and undocumented impacts –Quantifying the numbers of children leaving U.S. or living in U.S. separated for times from their parents –Following the experiences and outcomes for children who stay, who leave, who leave and return. –Better identifying educational impacts for children –Nature of immigration enforcement constantly changing –Broader implications for the current climate regarding immigration on children’s well-being How can you rigorously study the direct and indirect impacts of immigration policies on children and how do you reconcile the competing interests of immigration enforcement and children’s security and well-being? Understanding Implications of Immigration Enforcement for Children’s Well-Being

21 THE URBAN INSTITUTE / Washington, D.C. For more information, contact: Ajay Chaudry Urban Institute Center on Labor, Human Services and Population 2100 M Street, NW Washington, DC For copy of report go to Urban Institute website: Facing Our Future: Children in the Aftermath of Immigration Enforcement

22 THE URBAN INSTITUTE / Washington, D.C. Worksite Enforcement Source: DHS, 2009, “Worksite Enforcement Overview” Fact Sheet, Washington DC, April 30.

23 THE URBAN INSTITUTE / Washington, D.C. Fugitive Operations Teams Source: DHS, 2009, ICE Fiscal Year 2008 Annual Report.

24 THE URBAN INSTITUTE / Washington, D.C. Delegation of Immigration Authority 287(g) Program Arrests Source: ICE. Cited by Center for Immigration Studies.

25 THE URBAN INSTITUTE / Washington, D.C. For more information, contact: Ajay Chaudry The Urban Institute Center on Labor, Human Services and Population 2100 M Street, NW Washington, DC For copy of report go to Urban Institute website: Facing Our Future: Children in the Aftermath of Immigration

26 Parent Mental Health (Short Term) TABLE 6.2: Parents’ report of mental health problems (at least 9 months after detention)* Responses DepressedNervousAnxious Everything is DifficultHopelessWorthless Never or Almost Never 19%14%19%33%28%36% Sometimes 44%31%33% 42%39% Almost Always or Always 33%53%47%31%25%22%

27 THE URBAN INSTITUTE / Washington, D.C. Parent Mental Health (Long Term) Parents’ report of mental health problems (at least 9 months after detention)* ResponsesDepressedNervousAnxious Everything is DifficultHopelessWorthless Never or Almost Never 19%14%19%33%28%36% Sometimes 44%31%33% 42%39% Almost Always or Always 33%53%47%31%25%22%


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