Keeping Families Together: Why All Americans Should Care About What Happens to Unauthorized Immigrants

Report Author: 
Silva Mathema
Original Date of Publication: 
2017 Mar

Keeping Families Together: Why All Americans Should Care About What Happens to Unauthorized Immigrants

More than eight million U.S. citizens have at least one undocumented family member in their household. This report examines the effects of policies targeting undocumented immigrants on millions of American citizens. This study uses the 2010-2014 American Community Survey to estimate the number of family members of unauthorized immigrants. The analysis finds 16.7 million people in the United States have at least one unauthorized family member living with them. Almost half of these people are U.S.-born or naturalized citizens, and 72 percent of these citizens are children. Immigration policies focused on enforcement and mass deportation separate the families of American citizens, leading to parentless children who are often sent into the foster system causing psychological trauma. Deportations can also result in a rise in single-parent families that experience greater economic stress. Additionally, the report notes that removing seven million unauthorized workers will result in a loss of $4.7 trillion in gross domestic product over a decade to the detriment to the U.S. economy and its citizens. The report recommends that U.S. immigration policies should prioritize keeping families together "rather than a relentless focus on ramping up enforcement."(Christy Box for The ILC Public Education Institute).

 Why All Americans Should Care About What Happens to Unauthorized Immigrants

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Citation: 

Silva Mathema (2017). Keeping Families Together: Why All Americans Should Care About What Happens to Unauthorized Immigrants. Washington DC.: The Center for American Progresss. Available here: https://cdn.americanprogress.org/content/uploads/2017/03/15112450/KeepFa...

Source Organization: 
Center for American Progress