Facing the Fear of Deportation, Part 3: Sharing the Research
Thursday, October 11th, 2018
The University of Southern California Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work published a research article examining the mental health effects that the threat of deportation poses to those who experience it. Casa de Esperanza’s National Latin@ Network has published it in three parts. Click here to read Part 1, click here to read part 2, or click here to read the article in its entirety on USC’s website. This blog (Part 3 of this series) contains information from that research that was put into an infographic that is shareable on social media. Click the image to download the infographic.
Family separation due to deportation can be traumatizing for the millions of children living in families with an undocumented parent.
Between 2009 and 2013: 5.3 million children in the U.S. had an undocumented parent. 85 percent of those children, of 4.24 million were U.S. born.
Living with Fear
For children of undocumented immigrants:
- The threat of deportation causes fear and anxiety.
- If a parent is deported, their children’s anxiety worsens.
- Prolonged anxiety creates toxic stress that hinders learning and reasoning.
- Feelings of isolation
- Disrupted eating and sleeping patterns
- Poor identity formation
- Difficulty forming relationships
- Distrust of authority figures
- Behavioral and academic difficulties
Barriers to Accessing Mental Health Services
Families with undocumented immigrants encounter barriers to accessing mental health services which can exacerbate mental health problems.
- Culture — Mental health services may not be culturally or linguistically appropriate.
- Discrimination — Families with undocumented immigrants are targets of racism and racial profiling.
- Fear — Families fear accessing services will expose a family member’s undocumented status.
- Poverty — Struggling families have difficulty affording resources to keep children physically and mentally healthy.
Created by: USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work
- National Association of Social Workers:
- Migration Policy Institute:
- American Psychological Association:
- Harvard University Center on the Developing Child:
© 2018 The University of Southern California for its USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work. All rights reserved.