Deportations Physically & Emotionally Traumatizing Children, Says New Study
07/20/2012 - 14:00 ||
A new study shows that children bear the greatest burden of U.S. deportation policies, which cause many of them to exhibit signs physically and emotionally, reports Fox News Latino. These symptoms include loss of appetitie, increases in crying and upset behavior, sleeplessness, clingy behavior, an increase in fear and anxiety and a general fear of law enforcement officials.
In the past year, 400,000 people were deported from the United States. The study, conducted by sociologist Dr. Joanna Dreby of SUNY University at Albany, looked at children of Mexican families.
“A lot of the U.S. children [interviewed] have undocumented parents, but a ton of them didn’t," said Dr. Joanna Dreby, a sociologist at the SUNY University at Albany. "There are more mixed status families now than there have ever have before.”
In many cases, children are confused about their legal status and develop misunderstandings about immigration from media coverage. The study showed that many of the children equated being an immigrant with being undocumented.
“They grow up thinking that immigrant is a ‘dirty word,’ it’s bad and it’s negative,” Dr. Dreby said. “There is a sense of pride in our nation where [people talk about] their grandparents coming to America and making a life, and now it’s completely different.”
The study calls for more attention to be focused on family needs and children's understanding of deportation, along with a revise of deportation policy.
"The children know what's going on, the fear of deportation is very real," said Dr. Dreby.