Recent Research On Immigrant and Undocumented Families and Youth: Implication for Policy and Practice
This panel exploits diverse data sources and methodological approaches with the goal of furthering our understanding about the role individual, neighborhood, geographic, and policy characteristics play in shaping outcomes for immigrants, particularly undocumented families and youth. The panel will provide a range of findings on social mobility among Mexican immigrant youth, the developmental outcomes and access to routine health services of the children of undocumented immigrants, and the impact of the recent Deferred Action for Children of Arrivals (DACA) policy.
The first paper examines differences in developmental outcomes (reading and math) between citizen, documented, and undocumented families using survey data from the Los Angeles Family and Neighborhood Survey, a representative sample of 3000 families from Los Angeles County. The authors use multilevel models to examine individual and neighborhood characteristics that may shape differences in outcomes. This study furthers our knowledge regarding differences in developmental outcomes among the children of the undocumented.
The second paper examines differences in access to routine dental and medical services among children (17 years and younger) relative to parental immigration status (documented, and undocumented families) and also uses data from the Los Angeles Family and Neighborhood Survey, a representative sample of 3000 families from Los Angeles County. The authors use multilevel models to examine individual and neighborhood characteristics that may shape access to services and find that the children of undocumented parents are less likely than there citizen and documented peers to utilize routine medical and dental services, all else equal.
Using in-depth interviews with 45 low-income Mexican second-generation young men (ages 18 - 25) in two Chicago suburbs the third paper examines why some young adults get ahead, while others fall behind in educational attainment. The paper disentangles the impact of the suburban context in shaping opportunities for mobility and finds that these young men face multiple barriers to education including discrimination, poverty, and gang activity.
The fourth paper draws on a national survey of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) eligible young adults in order to investigate three questions: 1. What are the individual and family-level characteristics of young people who apply for and receive DACA? 2. How does DACA impact educational, employment civic engagement, health, and well-being in the short run, and over time? 3. How do the benefits of DACA vary across different state contexts? Findings contribute to the immigration policy and will enhance our understanding of the relationship between immigration status, opportunity, and quality of life.