Parental Deportation, Families, and Mental Health (Schuyler W. Henderson, M.D., M.P.H. & Charles D.R. Baily, M.S., Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, Vol. 52, Issue 5, May 2013)
There are an estimated 5.5 million children in the United States whose parents are unauthorized immigrants, and approximately three fourths of these children are American citizens. For these children, parental deportation is a real threat. From 1998 through 2007, more than 100,000 parents of U.S. citizen children were deported. Since then, immigration enforcement has intensified, with 1.5 million people deported during the first 4 years of the Obama presidency. In the first 6 months of 2011 alone, 46,000 mothers and fathers of U.S. citizen children were removed, and there are estimated to be at least 5,100 children in the United States currently living in foster care after the detention or deportation of their parents. Fear of deportation is widespread. Fifty-seven percent of Latino respondents from a large national survey reported worrying that they, a family member, or close friend might be deported.