The Mental Health Effects of the Threat of Deportation

Family separation due to deportation can be traumatizing for the millions of children living in families with an undocumented parent.Between 2009 and 2013, 5.3 million children in the U.S. had an undocumented parent. 85 percent of those children, of 4.24 million, were U.S. born.

Living with Fear

The threat of deportation causes fear and anxiety for children of undocumented immigrants. If a parent is deported, their children's anxiety worsens. Prolonged anxiety creates toxic stress that hinders learning and reasoning.

Short-Term Effects

Long-Term Effects

Barriers to Accessing Mental Health Services  

Families with undocumented immigrants encounter barriers to accessing mental health services which can exacerbate mental health problems.

Sources


USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work

Phone Number: 877-700-4679
Email Address: sswvac@msw.usc.edu

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