The director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the agency responsible for deporting unauthorized immigrants living in the United States, likes to say that immigrants should be afraid of deportation: “If you entered this country illegally,” said Tom Homan in June 2017, “you should be looking over your shoulder and you should be worried.”
Two new studies offer evidence for a disturbing reality: The fear is real — but it isn’t limited to unauthorized immigrants. It’s affecting other immigrants who have reason to feel their immigration status isn’t secure. And it’s trickling down to US citizen children of immigrants, and even their children’s classmates. It’s shaping their behaviors and weighing down their inner lives.
We’re beginning to get a more detailed picture of the miasma of fear hanging over immigrants in the Trump era, and the ways it’s seeping into daily life. Two recent studies — one from researchers at George Washington University, based on a survey of Latino parents of teenagers, and another from the UCLA Civil Rights Project, which surveyed school professionals — help demonstrate that the fear of family separation is pressing down on immigrant parents and families. It’s a fear they aren’t equipped to handle, and that’s being passed on, deliberately or inadvertently, to children born in the US.
Immigrant parents are “often” guided by worry — and it’s not just unauthorized immigrants
The George Washington University study, published in the Journal of Adolescent Health, is based on a survey of 213 parents of adolescent children in “a large mid-Atlantic city.” The subjects in the study weren’t necessarily representative of the broader immigrant population: They were overwhelmingly Central American (55 percent of all respondents were born in El Salvador), while Mexican immigrants made up only 8 percent of the sample.
What the survey was equipped to do, however, was compare immigrants — and families — across a variety of immigration statuses. A third of parents were unauthorized immigrants; a sixth had Temporary Protected Status (TPS), which is given to people in the US from countries that have suffered natural disasters or civil war; a third were green card holders; and a sixth were US citizens.
By Dana Lind for VOX
Read Full Article HERE