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Implications of Immigration Enforcement Activities for the Well-Being of Children in Immigrant Families: A Review of the Literature.

Publication Year: 
Personal Author: 
Capps, Randy.
Koball, Heather.
Campetella, Andrea.
Perreira, Krista.
Hooker, Sarah.
Pedroza, Juan Manuel.
Corporate Author: 
Urban Institute.
Migration Policy Institute.
Technical Report
Page Count: 

This MPI-Urban Institute report reviews the evidence on the impacts of parental deportation on children, and on their needs for health and social services. The literature mostly dates from a period of peak enforcement: 2009 through 2013, when there were nearly 4 million deportations from the United States. Efforts by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency to protect families with children during detention and removal procedures are described, as well as the challenges that affected families faced in assessing services and promising practices to overcome those challenges. Specifically, the first section of the report reviews findings on the impacts of parental detention and deportation on a large segment of the Hispanic child population and on children of unauthorized immigrants. Short-term and long-term impacts of parental apprehension, detention, and deportation are reviewed, and information is provided on children living the United States, family dissolution, and child welfare system involvement. The second section focuses on meeting the needs of children with detained and deported parents and describes needs relating to food, shelter, health care, mental health care, and education. The final section addresses immigration and enforcement and changes in the composition of unauthorized populations. It discusses agency discretion in deporting parents, States and local partnerships in immigration enforcement, and deportation of returning parents apprehended at the U.S.-Mexico border. Unanswered questions and avenues for future research are also considered. 1 table and numerous references.

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