Study finds impact of immigration reform on kids

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A study conducted in the Valley found the threat of deportation impacts the health of a child.

A study conducted in the Valley found the threat of deportation impacts the health of a child.

As the political landscape continues to change, mixed-status families, which means not everyone in the family is a U.S. citizen, live day-to-day in fear.

“Every time I go outside, I never go out relaxed because I’m always worried about what’s going to happen,” said one woman in Spanish, who does not want to be identified due to her protection. “I never know if I’m going to be home by the time my kids get back from school. “

The woman said immigration laws, like Senate Bill 4, which include local police working with immigration officials not only affect her, but her children, as well.

“I’m kind of a little bit scared and sad because I can’t imagine myself without my mom,” said the woman’s daughter.

The family participated in a study conducted by Human Impact Partners (HIP) – in partnership with La Union Del Pueblo Entero (LUPE).

From the study, they found that one in five children in the Calley are experiencing symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

“What shocked us from that finding was that, that was not specific to kids who had a parent who is undocumented,” said Anna Tellez, Communications Director of HIP. “It was also parents who had a protected status and parents who are citizens and so the anti-immigration practices are having an effect not just on kids who have undocumented parents, but on all kids in the Valley.”

This brings the concern of toxic stressors that put a child’s health at risk.

“For kids, what that means is it really impacts their development,” explained Tellez. “It impacts their ability to focus in school and it can have long-term impacts to increase the risk of chronic diseases.” 

With the results, LUPE plans to bring it to the attention of local law enforcement.

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