Immigrant Families Research

Resources on this page include the latest research findings related to the immigration system and policies with a lens toward child welfare from leading immigration scholars.

Immigrant Families during the Pandemic On the Frontlines but Left Behind

By | Deportation, Detention, Family Separation, Highlighted Resources, ICE, Immigrant Families Research, Immigration Enforcement, Legal/Law, Public Charge, Research, Research Highlight, Topics

Immigrant Families during the Pandemic On the Frontlines but Left Behind 

Juan Carlos Gomez and Vanessa Meraz, CLASP (February 2021) 

Highlighting the unique manner in which the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted immigrants in the United States, this brief covers how this population has been left behind. The authors review how this vulnerable population’s struggles have been exacerbated by the pandemic, the policies that have prevented them from meeting their basic needs, and concludes with recommendations for how the federal government can redress their needs. 

Unseen Costs: The Direct and Indirect Impact of U.S. Immigration Policies on Child and Adolescent Health and Well-Being

By | Child Well-Being, Detention, Family Separation, Highlighted Resources, Immigrant Families Research, Immigration Enforcement, Research, Research Highlight, Topics, Trauma

Unseen Costs: The Direct and Indirect Impact of U.S. Immigration Policies on Child and Adolescent Health and Well-Being

Joseph Mattingly II, Laurel Kiser, Sherika Hill, Ernestine C. Briggs, Carrie Purbeck Trunzo, Zafar Zafari, and Theresa S. Betancourt, Journal of Traumatic Stress (August 13, 2020)

Utilizing economic modeling techniques, this study examines the literal direct and indirect costs of the Zero-Tolerance Policy upon the children who were separated from their parents at the border. Estimates from the study indicate that, compared to a baseline “No Detention” scenario, zero-tolerance migration policy cost more per child and proved to be of more significant expense to our healthcare system. The authors surmise that such policy is not only morally distressing but also economically disadvantageous. 

“The Impact of COVID-19 on Latinx Immigrant Children & Families: A Call to Action” as part of COVID-19 and Child Welfare: Challenges and Responses

By | Child Well-Being, Immigrant Families Research, Research, Research Highlight

“The Impact of COVID-19 on Latinx Immigrant Children & Families: A Call to Action” as part of COVID-19 and Child Welfare: Challenges and Responses

Jesse Ramirez and Kristina Lovato, CWLA Press (2020)

This essay (page 35) discusses how the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted systemic issues of inequality in the health care system and economy for Latinx immigrant children and families in the United States. It concludes with a call to action to address related macro- and mezzo-level systemic weaknesses impacting this population.

Disruptions to Child Care Arrangements and Work Schedules for Low-Income Hispanic Families are Common and Costly

By | Child Well-Being, Early Childhood, Immigrant Families Research, Research, Research Highlight

Disruptions to Child Care Arrangements and Work Schedules for Low-Income Hispanic Families are Common and Costly

Kevin Ferreira van Leer, Danielle A. Crosby, and Julia Mendez, National Research Center on Hispanic Children & Families (January 27, 2021)

This research article looks at the impacts of child care arrangement disruptions on low-income Hispanic families as well as the relevance of this issue during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.

Food Over Fear: Overcoming Barriers to Connect Latinx Immigrant Families to Federal Nutrition and Food Programs

By | Child Well-Being, Immigrant Families Research, Immigration Enforcement, Public Charge, Research, Research Highlight

Food Over Fear: Overcoming Barriers to Connect Latinx Immigrant Families to Federal Nutrition and Food Programs

Food Research & Action Center and National Immigration Law Center (December 2020)

This report details findings about why immigrant families are not utilizing federal nutrition and food programs and offers recommendations for helping immigrant families navigate these obstacles. The report also describes the importance of its findings in the context of the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Anticipated “Chilling Effects” of the Public-Charge Rule Are Real: Census Data Reflect Steep Decline in Benefits Use by Immigrant Families

By | Child Well-Being, Immigrant Families Research, Public Charge, Research, Research Highlight

Anticipated “Chilling Effects” of the Public-Charge Rule Are Real: Census Data Reflect Steep Decline in Benefits Use by Immigrant Families

Randy Capps, Michael Fix, and Jeanne Batalova; Migration Policy Institute (December 2020)

MPI researchers document the decline in utilization of public-benefit programs, including TANF, SNAP (food stamps), and Medicaid by non-citizens and their U.S.-born children during the Trump administration.

Unauthorized Immigrants in the United States: Stable Numbers, Changing Origins

By | Immigrant Families Research, Immigration Enforcement, Immigration Relief, Research, Research Highlight

Unauthorized Immigrants in the United States: Stable Numbers, Changing Origins

Randy Capps, Julia Gelatt, Ariel G. Ruiz Soto and Jennifer Van Hook; Migration Policy Institute (December 2020)

This fact sheet describes the current trends in unauthorized immigrant populations, highlighting the stabilization of the number of unauthorized immigrants in the United States over the past decade.

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Immigration Data Matters

By | Highlighted Resources, Immigrant Families Research, Immigrant Youth, Immigration Enforcement, Legal/Law, Research, Research Highlight, State Policies, Unaccompanied Minors

Immigration Data Matters  

Jeanne Batalova, Andriy Shymonyak and Michelle Mittelstadt, Migration Policy Institute (November, 2020) 

This updated and convenient guide contains more than 250 migration data resources from the United States and internationally from reliable governmental and non-governmental sources organized by topics ranging from labor migration to immigration enforcement.   

Enforced Separations: A Qualitative Examination of How Latinx Families Cope With Family Disruption Following the Deportation of a Parent

By | Deportation, Family Separation, Highlighted Resources, Immigrant Families Research, Immigration Enforcement, Research, Research Highlight, Social Work, Trauma

Enforced Separations: A Qualitative Examination of How Latinx Families Cope With Family Disruption Following the Deportation of a Parent 

Kristina Lovato and Laura S. Abrams, Families in Society: The Journal of Contemporary Social Sciences (November 5, 2020) 

In the face of two decades of ever-restrictive immigration policies that have led to increased family disruption due to expansive deportations, this study examines how impacted families cope. Exploring the issue through a family systems theory lens, researchers found that in addition to restructuring family dynamics, those impacted also experience economic and familial tensions. The need to develop cultural and trauma-informed interventions for immigrant families in response is also discussed.   

New DHS Policy Threatens to Undo Gains Made by DACA Recipients

By | Deportation, Immigrant Families Research, Immigration Enforcement, Immigration Relief, Research, Research Highlight

New DHS Policy Threatens to Undo Gains Made by DACA Recipients

Tom K. Wong, Sanaa Abrar, Claudia Flores, Tom Jawetz, Ignacia Rodriguez Kmec, Juliana Macedo do Nascimento, and Philip E. Wolgin, Center for American Progress (October 5, 2020)

A national survey was conducted to look at the experiences of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients.  Findings indicated that DACA recipients have contributed to contribute to the economy and society with 91.7% of respondents specifying that they are employed or in school.  A specific finding from this survey found that the recent policy changes made by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) could negatively impact the progress made by recipients of DACA.  These new DHS policy changes include rejecting new applicants and only allowing one-year renewals.  The validity of the memo detailing the new DHS policy updates is a part of an ongoing litigation.

Children’s Uninsured Rate Rises by Largest Annual Jump in More Than a Decade

By | Child Well-Being, Immigrant Families Research, Research, Research Highlight

Children’s Uninsured Rate Rises by Largest Annual Jump in More Than a Decade

Joan Alker and Alexandra Corcoran, Georgetown University Health Policy Institute Center for Children and Families (October 2020)

Every year of the Trump Administration the number of uninsured children in the United States has increased.  The largest annual increase in more than a decade was seen between 2018 and 2019 when the number of uninsured children grew by 320,000.  It is noted that this data was collected before the pandemic so the number of children without health insurance is expected to be significantly higher in 2020.  Latino children were found to have faced one of the largest increases in coverage loss.

Immigrant Family Financial and Relational Stressors and Coping Strategies during the COVID-19 Pandemic

By | Immigrant Families Research, Research, Research Highlight

Immigrant Family Financial and Relational Stressors and Coping Strategies during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Jaime Ballard, Nusroon Fatiha, Cathy Solheim, Gretchen Buchanan, ZamZam Dini, & Soyoul Song, Immigrant & Refugee Families Research Team, University of Minnesota Department of Family Social Science (October 2020)

The Immigrant & Refugee Families Research Team from the University of Minnesota Department of Family Social Science interviewed 19 community-based non-profit health and human services providers that work with immigrant and refugee families in urban and rural Minnesota.  These interviews were conducted from June through August of 2020.  The main objective of the study was to provide findings to policymakers and community agencies that work with immigrant families so that they can better inform their developing policies.  Particular areas that their report focuses on includes resilience, job loss/effects of losing employment, housing, health (as it relates to COVID and overall health), family relationships, coping, distance learning, and access/cost of food.

In High and Low Enforcement Jurisdictions Alike, Most Latino High School Students Express Fear of Deportation, with Consequences for Mental Health

By | Child Well-Being, Deportation, Detention, Family Separation, Highlighted Resources, ICE, Immigrant Families Research, Immigration Enforcement, Research, Research Highlight, Trauma

In High and Low Enforcement Jurisdictions Alike, Most Latino High School Students Express Fear of Deportation, with Consequences for Mental Health 

Randy Capps, Jodi Berger Cardoso, Kalina Brabeck, Michael Fix, and Ariel G Ruiz Soto, Migration Policy Institute (September 2020) 

The fear surrounding immigration enforcement in American communities is far-reaching. This report demonstrates the consequences of such concerns for Latino youth’s mental health while also concentrating on support factors of spirituality and family relationships as potential sources of resilience.

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The Rate of Children Without Health Insurance Is Rising, Particularly among Latino Children of Immigrant Parents and White Children

By | Child Well-Being, Highlighted Resources, Immigrant Families Research, Research, Research Highlight

The Rate of Children Without Health Insurance Is Rising, Particularly among Latino Children of Immigrant Parents and White Children 

Lina Guzman, Yiyu Chen, and Dana Thomson, National Research Center on Hispanic Children & Families (September 15, 2020) 

While health insurance coverage for children has expanded thanks to federal and state legislation over the past ten years, differences in access to care among non-white populations persist. In this research brief, the rate of uninsured children from 2010-2018 is compared across racial/ethnic groups and among Hispanic children with at least one US-born parent and those with only foreign-born parents.

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Dismantling and Reconstructing the U.S. Immigration System: A Catalog of Changes under the Trump Presidency

By | Deportation, Detention, Family Separation, ICE, Immigrant Families Research, Immigration Enforcement, Immigration Relief, Legal/Law, Public Charge, Research, Research Highlight

Dismantling and Reconstructing the U.S. Immigration System: A Catalog of Changes under the Trump Presidency

Sarah Pierce and Jessica Bolter, Migration Policy Institute (July, 2020)

Since Trump’s inauguration, over 400 policies and executive orders have been implemented targeting all levels of immigration to and within the United States. This report covers all notable changes and their long lasting effects on the immigration system.

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The Day That ICE Came: How Worksite Raids Are Once Again Harming Children and Families

By | Child Well-Being, Deportation, Family Separation, Highlighted Resources, ICE, Immigrant Families Research, Immigration Enforcement, Research, Research Highlight

The Day That ICE Came: How Worksite Raids Are Once Again Harming Children and Families

Wendy Cervantes, Rebecca Ulrich, & Vanessa Meraz, CLASP (July 13, 2020)

CLASP conducted a study at three locations where ICE worksite raids were conducted in order to evaluate the impact on immigrant children and families. Findings shows severe adverse affects on the mental health and economic well-being of children, their parents, and their communities.

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The Majority of Low-Income Hispanic and Black Households Have Little-to-No Bank Access, Complicating Access to COVID Relief Funds

By | Immigrant Families Research, Research Highlight

The Majority of Low-Income Hispanic and Black Households Have Little-to-No Bank Access, Complicating Access to COVID Relief Funds

Lina Guzman & Renee Ryberg, National Research Center on Hispanic Children and Families (June 11, 2020)

According to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), 60% of low-income Hispanic and black households have very limited, if any, access to banks. This creates issues for families eligible for CARES Act stimulus checks.

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Hispanic Fathers Report Frequent Involvement in the Lives of their Children

By | Immigrant Families Research, Research Highlight

Hispanic Fathers Report Frequent Involvement in the Lives of their Children

Elizabeth Wildsmith, Elizabeth Karberg, & Brooke Whitfield, National Research Center on Hispanic Children and Families (June 8th, 2020)

The National Research Center on Hispanic Children and Families looked at cross-sectional data sets collected by the National Survey of Family Growth to evaluate Hispanic fathers’ involvement in their children’s lives, both U.S. born and non-U.S. born. The data showed that Hispanic fathers, regardless of where they were born, were heavily involved in their children’s lives reporting engagement, warmth, and caregiving activities.

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Do States’ Immigrant Family Policies Improve the Health of Children of Immigrants?

By | Child Well-Being, Immigrant Families Research, Research, Research Highlight

Do States’ Immigrant-Friendly Policies Improve the Health of Children of Immigrants?

Heather Koball & Seth Hartig, National Center for Children in Poverty  (April, 2020)

This study investigated the impact of immigrant-friendly policies on health outcomes for children of immigrants. The study found that in states with sanctuary policies and where undocumented immigrants could access driver licenses children’s preventative health outcomes improved.

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