Workplace Immigration Raids Affect Hispanic Children's Mental Health

by Medindia Content Team on Nov 3 2007 4:38 PM

Children of parents arrested in workplace immigration raids face mental health conditions, such as post-traumatic stress disorder, separation anxiety and depression, according to a report released on Wednesday and commissioned by the National Council of La Raza, according to reports.

The report, conducted by the Urban Institute, analyzed the effects of recent workplace raids in Greeley, Colo.; Grand Island, Neb.; and New Bedford, Mass. During those raids, officials arrested 900 suspected undocumented immigrants, and as a result, 500 children unexpectedly lost communication with one or both parents. Most of the children were ages 10 or younger, and two-thirds of the children were U.S. citizens, according to the report. An estimated 3.1 million children who are U.S. citizens are living with at least one undocumented immigrant parent, according to 2006 Pew Hispanic Center data.

According to the report, the situation left some children with unstable supervision and caused stress and emotional trauma. The report found that most of the children affected had at least one parent to care for them, but that parent often was unable to make decisions and have access to his or her partner's money. In addition, the parent and or family member caring for the children often was reluctant to seek help out of fear of being deported themselves, the report said. Local systems sometimes end up caring for children separated from an undocumented immigrant parent, according to the report.

Source-Kaiser Family Foundation