Migration Policy Institute
Left Behind: How the Well-Being of Children Is Affected by Parental Deportation
Randy Capps, Director of Research, U.S. Programs, MPI
Heather Koball, Senior Fellow, Center on Labor, Human Services, and Population, The Urban Institute
Elizabeth Thornton, Director of Knowledge Management with Casey Family Programs, and currently detailed as Custody Programs Senior Advisor for Parental Interests, Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO), U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement
Wendy Cervantes, Vice President, Immigration and Child Rights, First Focus
Currently, an estimated 5.3 million children live with unauthorized immigrant parents, and 85 percent of these children are U.S.-born citizens. While the Obama administration has initiated some policies to reduce the impacts of parental deportation on children, they remain vulnerable to separation from their parents as a result of immigration policies and immigration enforcement initiatives that have increased removals over the past decade. From 2009 to 2013, there were 2 million formal removals from the United States and another 1.8 million deportations without formal removal orders.
In two new reports, the Migration Policy Institute and The Urban Institute review the literature examining the effects of parental deportation on children and the broader community and report the results of field visits to five communities with large numbers of parental deportations. Children who have experienced the deportation of a parent exhibit psychological trauma, suffer material hardship and residential instability, and are put at risk for increased use of public benefits, family dissolution, and involvement with the child welfare system.
Join MPI as authors discuss the effects of parental deportation on the children of immigrants, and the related needs for health and social services. Panelists will discuss U.S. policy responses to protect these children, community responses, and possible directions for future research and policies.