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The real impact of immigration enforcement on U.S. children

On Behalf of | May 31, 2022 | Immigration

Living with a person who is undocumented is highly common in California, and oftentimes, that individual has children. It’s not hard to imagine why these children of immigrant families suffer serious consequences when one or both parents don’t have their documentation for legal citizenship.

These consequences may affect children both physically and mentally, and the issues also have the potential to have adverse impacts on a child’s development. There are economic repercussions as well, putting major limitations on the finances of these undocumented families.

In one of the worst-case scenarios, when a parent is deported, a lasting impact is almost always left on the child – and that includes when the child is a legal citizen of the United States. This negative effect may even ripple out to the communities supporting these families as well, and as this continues to be a widespread issue, the entire U.S. has begun to feel the pain of these unfortunate children.

A life of added trials

Life for the children of undocumented immigrants is filled with everyday challenges that others don’t have to think about. Depression and anxiety are more likely to arise as a direct result of immigration enforcement issues, and it easily has the potential to cause severe psychological distress.

And it’s not only when a member of the family has actually been deported or is really at risk of deportation at all. In many cases, the fear itself of their relative getting deported is enough to cause any number of these issues. This fear tends to create a toxic form of stress, which is how the body responds when it is experiencing stress that is significant and has gone on for a considerable amount of time.

But when the worst should happen and the kids are taken away from their parents, some of the most serious forms of toxic stress are prone to occur. This is highly serious because it can stunt a child’s brain development, and chronic mental health conditions are more likely to form later on in life.