Immigrant Children Under Attack

Immigrant Children Under Attack

We find that increased cooperation in federal immigration enforcement efforts brings increases in material hardship for low-income immigrant households with children, both those headed by unauthorized immigrants and those headed by legal immigrants. In looking at the effects of individual immigration enforcement policies on material hardship, we see that taking up Secure Communities and having a 287(g) agreement have the greatest impact on increasing material hardship for immigrant households. Our assessment of these impacts looks just at families who stay in the United States and does not include well-being effects for families who leave the country after the deportation of a family member or of the whole family.

These policies affect over 7 million children living with a noncitizen parent, including 5.9 million children who are US citizens. And, they affect legal immigrant households, who are not the target of the policies. This suggests that these policies may generate a climate of fear that affects the economic opportunities of legal immigrants as well.

In the short term, increased material hardship means children and parents experience financial stress, sometimes go without basic necessities like electricity or heat, experience housing instability because of missed rent payments, or go without needed medical care. Over the long term, material hardship has negative implications for children’s cognitive, social, and physical development.

Politsturm: This study confirms that the policies of the Trump administration will have serious implications for the most vulnerable in our society, namely immigrant children. As the U.S capitalist economic system fails to provide a decent standard of living, the capitalist class is scapegoating immigrants for its own internal contradictions. This policy of strictly enforcing immigration laws is politically salient because it leads to infighting between the working class rather than targeting the capitalist system itself. Capitalism is unable to provide jobs, basic necessities, and increased prospects for it’s population and therefore the capitalists target immigrants to appease the xenophobic tendencies of the American right wing. This research publication confirms what we class conscious Americans already know. Capitalism as a system is contradictory and is plagued by problems of its own creation. The only solution is a planned, socialist economy that is not beholden to the capitalist class, but to the workers themselves.