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(p. 211) Child Immigration: Barriers Predicated on National Origin and Racial Identity 

(p. 211) Child Immigration: Barriers Predicated on National Origin and Racial Identity
Chapter:
(p. 211) Child Immigration: Barriers Predicated on National Origin and Racial Identity
Author(s):

Veronica T. Thronson

and David B. Thronson

DOI:
10.1093/med-psych/9780190056742.003.0012
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date: 26 January 2021

Race has played a prominent and persistent role in shaping U.S. immigration laws, and immigration laws in turn play a critical role in shaping the racial composition of the nation. Immigration status also serves as a proxy in efforts to target people for negative treatment based on race or poverty. The contrived development of immigration law has broad effect, but it also has particular bearing on children. As addressed in this chapter, immigration law and immigration enforcement affect the mental health of children in immigrant families, causing and contributing to trauma. Immigration law creates barriers to economic security, on the basis of both real and perceived immigration status, such that children in immigrant families suffer disproportionately. Efforts at reform will be daunting, as embedded legacies of race will not easily give way, but reform informed by research on the profound negative effects that immigration law has on children will provide a starting point for meaningful change.

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