Teachers, staff, and school leaders might fail to understand the impact of immigration on schools and their students. In this brief guide, you will learn how does immigration affect education and leads to stress and what effect it has on families and children.
Immigration and Education
Helping educators understand the experiences that students might have has a significant impact on how they interact with immigrant families and students. Educators are surprised to find the issues that impact children. The context of having a relative, parent, or sibling with documentation or not having documented oneself is a unique stressor that can’t be understood as generic trauma or stress. Families having undocumented members are often made to live in the shadows and experience a lack of safety.
When a child goes through this, counselors and teachers are often on the frontline of handling mental health concerns as they arise. Thus, teachers need to be well-informed about the challenges that the immigration issues might pose. Immigration is one of the topics that have been deeply delved into in recent times. Scholars are writing research papers and essays on immigration. You can check out immigration essay free samples over the internet. Usually, the essay examples are written by expert writers. A free sample essay paper will serve as a good read. They will provide you with the knowledge you need on the topic of immigration and how it can affect students. It talks about how immigrant children have to go through complex situations.
Separation and Reunification
Immigrant students in public schools tend to be mentally and emotionally disturbed during separation and reunification. A few examples are,
- Unaccompanied minors that come to the United States for reuniting with their parents might not see them for several years and might have new siblings in the United States that they get to meet for the first time.
- Other children might have to experience separation from family members because of deportation or detention. At times, children have to take on care-taking responsibilities for their younger siblings.
How can Immigration Enforcement and Deportation Affect Students?
There are more than 4 million children with a minimum of one parent who is undocumented. About 1.5 million of them are under 5 years of age and a large percentage of those kids were born in the US. According to the reports of UCLA, immigration enforcement policies can impact over 5 million children across the nation. Immigration and students have a strong connection.
Let’s take a look at the various outcomes that immigration enforcement activity might have on the children.
- Large raids.
- Deportation to some country.
- Detention in the United States facility.
- Extended separations between the family members.
- Arrests of other undocumented people close by.
It should also be remembered that thousands of men when they are deported tend to return to the United States every year. A few undocumented young people sponsors who have crossed the border are not ready to come forward to take their kids home due to a new memorandum where the Department of Health and Human Services is sharing the information of sponsor with the officials of immigration. The policy has caused many undocumented sponsors to be arrested.
The outcomes have long-lasting economic, emotional, and practical effects on the students. There are some students who attempt to take their life because their family is separated from them. Separation and fear is the base of the emotions that students have to suffer.
Let’s take a look at the documented impacts of deportation, separation, and detention.
- Social and Emotional
- Increased anxiety, fear, and depression.
- Uncertainty about the future in regards to where the child is going to live or go to school.
- Lack of interest or motivation in school.
- Economic Instability
- This is an increase in transiency as families go into hiding, relocate, or move to be with their loved ones.
- Loss of income.
- Reduced access to social services and their benefits.
- Care Taking
- Possibly transferring the child to foster care.
- Increasing responsibilities for older siblings are breadwinners, caretakers, and logistics coordinators.
How the Threat of Deportation Affects Children?
Deportation-related stress doesn’t just impact the one who has experienced detention of their parents. Research has shown that children who are not aware of deportation or have undocumented parents tend to have higher levels of anxiety and fear. Also, they experience disrupted eating and sleeping.
Immigration and students go a long way. It can affect children’s grades in school. Deportation causes students to miss out on school or change schools. Stress-related to deportation might spill over legal residents who are experiencing discrimination.
Toxic stress well describes what the students are going through. This is the stress caused by prolonged exposure to serious stress that might harm the development of the brain. Thus, it leads to neurological and biological changes.
The best way to support immigration students in the classroom is to be observant and establish trust. A few students might exhibit behaviors and emotions that you haven’t seen before, try to be patient with them. They need all the support they can get.