Research finds that growing up with unauthorized immigrant parents places children at a disadvantage. Over the past decade, legislation that would provide a pathway to legal status for these parents stalled in Congress several times, and last year federal courts blocked implementation of Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA)—an Obama administration initiative to extend work permits and a temporary reprieve from deportation to unauthorized immigrant parents. Absent major policy changes, millions of American children will continue to face the possibility of parental deportation and other risks associated with having an unauthorized immigrant parent.
MPI analysts and a leading education scholar present and discuss findings on the citizenship and immigration status of children with unauthorized immigrant parents, their age structure, variations in status by age, school enrollment patterns, geographic distribution, English proficiency, and educational attainment rates. Presenters also discuss the effects of parental unauthorized status on children and the risks unique to this population in comparison to children of immigrants generally and all U.S. children, along with policies that could compound or ameliorate the negative effects of parental unauthorized status on children.