Parenting in the Context of Deportation Risk
A new study from the Texas Institute for Child & Family Wellbeing, in collaboration with the University of Houston, interviews 40 undocumented Latino parents to better understand their experiences living as parents at deportation risk in Texas.
An estimated 6 million of the 11 million undocumented individuals living in the United States are parents of minor children. In addition to restrictions from work and government services, parents at deportation risk live with the threat of deportation and the possibility of separation from their children. Deportations disproportionately impact the Latino community. Most (96%) people deported are from Latin America and most children with at least one undocumented parent are Latino, mostly from Mexico (70%) and other Latin American countries (17%).
This study aimed to explore how the threat of deportation impacts the everyday lives and parenting decisions of undocumented Latino parents.
Key findings include:
- 15% of parents reported long-term separation from their children.
- Higher parenting stress is associated with more severe depressive symptoms in undocumented parents.
- Almost a quarter of parents (23%) reported their children hoped to fix their legal status for them.
- 50% of parents did not have an explicit plan for the care of their children in the event of deportation.