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Literature review: The effects of deportation of Latino children
I. Introduction
The rapid rise and enacting of laws targeting undocumented immigrants raise concerns on
their welfare. These laws have played a role in instilling fear to the immigrant families in the US.
The uncertainty of their stay in the US and possible deportation remains in their heads every day
(Chavez, 2012). Apart from fear, they also face other oppressions such as denial of Access to
services such as medical care. This paper focuses on the impacts of the policies on US-born
children and their undocumented parents.
II. Social impact
According to research by Chen et al. (115), the number of American immigrants in cases
every year. The figures are worrying about the number of children affected by immigration
policies. The authors create the research in addressing the problems the children face at the hands
of the federal government through restrictive immigration laws. Over the years, the
administration has a keen interest and focus on reducing the number of undocumented
immigrants in the US. The case is much complicated for immigrant children who get to the US
without any parents or guardian. The category of these children becomes stateless, and hence
they get considered as illegal immigrants in the country (Chen, 115). According to the law,
unaccompanied children get also charged with an unlawful stay in the US. The author takes more
emphasis on the undocumented children through a case whereby, thousands of these kids were
apprehended at the border as they tried to enter the US. The instances of an increasing number of
undocumented children in the US got to an alarming rate. The US strictly forces the immigrants
on deportation and in support of the courts. The undocumented children find it difficult in
fighting for their fate through the courts. Unless one has a caregiver, they remain under
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deportation threat. At the same time, the study depicts that, despite these laws, there is still hope
for the children. There exist protective laws that could play a vital role in safeguarding and
legalizing their stay. However, getting the legal status in the US for any immigrants under
undocumented category remains a challenge. The fate of these children becomes unsupported by
the society itself unless there were reforms in their favor. However, this is not the case.
In another study, Menjivar (315) explores the effect of transnational parents and how the
children get affected by the laws. Through a survey of the immigrants from Honduras and
Guatemala, the author seeks the impacts children have once their parents are deported or faces
the related threats. Most of the immigrant under the study gets categorized as undocumented
(Menjívar, 315). These immigrants may have enjoyed previous laws that gave them a specific
duration of stay. Thus, in the case of the expiry, the children and the parents are separated. The
effects of separation with families may be an adverse effect on them. The restrictions made by
the federal government do not allow the immigrants in this category on having any permanent
Moreover, the laws and policies on immigration keep on getting added with more strictly
terms, making the immigrant find it unstable to stay as illegal in the foreign nation. The
immigrants are not only separated from their families but also from the society they may have
adapted to during their stay.
One of the most significant emotional stressors imposed on Mexican children living in
the United States is the forced transnationality of the family and the deportation of one of the
family members. The fact that the children born in the United States automatically receive
residence permit and American citizenship has motivated many immigrants to spouse American
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citizens. As pointed out by Ybarra et al. (34) the transnationality of such families implies that the
family gets forced to separate upon the deportation of the Mexican parent. These families
complain that they only need to remain together and beg not to get separated from their children.
III. Emotional Impact
Gallo et al. (290) explore the psychological impacts that the children and their parents
face due to the effects of the immigration policies. The author examines the effects of the
vulnerability of the immigrants to deportation and separation from their families. The study
conducted in the US finds that, many of the children whose parents are undocumented live with
depression. The authors seek to understand the possibilities and prevalence of the mental health
effects as a result of the immigration policies. The study finds that the children are either directly
or indirectly affected by the psychological impacts of the systems (Gallo, 190). In most cases, the
parent is either depressed or stressed by the pressure from the policies and their several threats.
The indirect effects on the children get seen through their poor relationship with their parents,
which is worse in case the parents already suffer from mental health as a result. The emotional
impact grows higher in the case of children whose undocumented parent’s faces deportation.
In a different study, the author explores the possible emotional experiences of the
deportation, and it’s enforcing policies. In this case, the research focuses on Mexican parents
through a related psychological test. Using an analytical approach in the examination of the
situation, the authors combine comprehensive results that help in the analysis of the issue
(Gulbas, 225). From the results, more than 50 percent of the children under parents with
undocumented status face depreciation and tend to be angry in the presence of others. Their
emotional impacts force them to find it difficult to cope up with other factors including school
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IV. Behavioral Impact
Zaya et al. (2470) made a study in the determination of the immigration status, its effect
and behavioral change. The authors conducted a direct interview with multiple children in the
decision of the impact of the policies. The study focuses on Mexican parents who are deported
leaving their children behind (Zaya, 2470). The adolescent children with undocumented parents
or guardians are found to be affected by the vulnerability threats of deportation possibilities.
Loss of parents through deportation leads to self-denial according to the study. The author
depicts that, the children remain in question of their belonging as they separated with their
families. As an effect, these children may develop hatred towards the society and their deported
families too. The outcome could also lead to miserable lives for the children whose parents face
Lykes et al. (133) explored the behavioral effects that come from immigration issues and
deportation threats. The vigilance of the US on undocumented immigrants (Lykes, 133). The
research focuses on the parent to children communication behavior. Through the author’s
findings, the parents and children tend to have no communicative behavior on the pressing
immigration status issues. As a result, communicative behavior grows. Unfortunately, in the case
of deportation, the children are left with psychological problems. The parents keep on working
hard in maintaining their stay as they bring up American born children. For the undocumented
parents to survive in the US, they have to behave in a way that doesn’t affect their children: they
get to assume that the policies don’t oppress them
V. Educational Impact
Knopf (2) conducted a study in the view of the educational impact on undocumented
children from Mexico. As other immigrants without legal status in the US, the children face the
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threat of strict immigration policies (Knopf, 2). The study focuses on the teacher’s efforts in
getting the experiences of the children with undocumented status. Even though the case is not as
prominent in the education system, the teachers played a great shot in gathering the data on
challenges of the undocumented status. This information would help in fighting for the plight of
such children especially those under the education system.
Arnot et al. (258) conducted an investigation based on the impact of education based
impacts on the issue. The moral argument is in front of the legal issues (Arnot, 258). The study
sought to find out what teachers’ are doing to help the affected children. With compassion, the
study finds some of the teachers making an effort to recognize the problem faced by
undocumented immigrant children. The act is humanism with education sector giving more in
surviving possible deportation.
VI. Health Impact
Zayas et al. (172) conducted a study focusing on the health impacts of the challenges
faced by both undocumented parents and their US-born children. The effects of strict
immigration policies on undocumented parents lead to the separation of families and depression
(Zayas, 172). In the worst case scenario, it to mental health and even death hence creates orphans
meaning means that the society and the federal government should make other consideration
despite enacting the strict policies on immigration because the impacts of the harsh policies pose
health threats to many undocumented immigrants.
In a related study, deportation of the immigrants leads to mental health among many
undocumented parents. In this case, the parents get unable to support their US-born children. The
study conducted on Mexican parents showed that most of them had depression symptoms.
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VII. Summary
The strict policies on immigration by the federal government are meant to ensure controls
on immigrants. According to most research findings, the children get affected directly or
indirectly by them. Similarly, cases of mental related illnesses, depressions and even cases of a
rising number of orphans are rampant. Besides, many families got separated due to the
deportation of the undocumented parents leaving their children under miserable lives.
The adverse effects of the immigration policies seem to affect the undocumented parent’s
health and their children welfare. However, they tend to do more harm than good. Despite the
laws being vital to a country, the administration needs to find better ways and procedures of
handling the undocumented immigrants that don’t come with such negative unwanted impacts.
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Works cited
Arnot, Madeleine, Halleli Pinson, and Mano Candappa. “Compassion, caring, and justice:
teachers’ strategies to maintain moral integrity in the face of national hostility to the non‐
citizen.” Educational Review 61.3 (2009): 249-264.
Chavez, Leo R. Shadowed Lives Undocumented immigrants in American society. Cengage
Learning, 2012.
Chen, Annie, and Jennifer Gill. “Unaccompanied children and the US immigration system:
challenges and reforms.” Journal of International Affairs 68.2 (2015): 115.
Gallo, Sarah, and Holly Link. “Exploring the Borderlands: Elementary school teachers’
navigation of immigration practices in a new Latino diaspora community.” Journal of
Latinos and Education 15.3 (2016): 180-196.
Gulbas, Lauren E., et al. “Deportation experiences and depression among US citizen‐children
with undocumented Mexican parents.” Child: care, health and development 42.2 (2016):
Knopf, Alison. “Immigrant families across America facing ‘black cloud’of stress and
deportation.” The Brown University Child and Adolescent Behavior Letter 33.S3 (2017):
Lykes, M. Brinton, Kalina M. Brabeck, and Cristina J. Hunter. “Exploring parent-child
communication in the context of threat: Immigrant families facing detention and
deportation in post-9/11 USA.” Community, Work & Family 16.2 (2013): 123-146.
Menjívar, Cecilia. “Transnational parenting and immigration law: Central Americans in the
United States.” Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 38.2 (2012): 301-322.
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Ybarra, Megan, and Isaura L. Peña. “We Don’t Need Money, We Need to be Together”: Forced
Transnationality in Deportation’s Afterlives. Geopolitics. Jan-Mar (2017): 22.1, 34-50.
Zayas, Luis H., and Lauren E. Gulbas. “Processes of belonging for citizen-children of
undocumented Mexican immigrants.” Journal of child and family studies 26.9 (2017):
Zayas, Luis H., and Mollie H. Bradlee. “Exiling children, creating orphans: When immigration
policies hurt citizens.” Social work 59.2 (2014): 167-175.

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