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Researchers look into effects of undocumented status on children

In a number of posts on this blog, we've discussed the great lengths many Chicago-area immigrants go to in order to avoid being deported. As some researchers are quickly finding out, the effects of this problem aren't limited to undocumented adults, but can have detrimental effects on their children, even if they have legal status in the United States.

Many undocumented immigrants move to the United States and don't have children until they have settled. This presents a difficult situation in which the adults do not have permanent resident status, but their children are citizens. Although a parent may simply be trying to keep his or her family intact, avoiding deportation by living "in the shadows" can cause feelings of depression and anxiety in children.

Many children of immigrants have the rights of a citizen, but they are still minors living under their parents' care. When parents feel as though they can't interact frequently in the public arena, children are limited in opportunities and the ability to thrive in the same way as some of their peers.

Up to this point, little research has been done regarding the psychological and emotional impacts that result from living undocumented and without green cards. Those involved in this area of study hope that more research will help influence immigration policy to become more inclusive of families with undocumented members.

As parents look to do the best for their loved ones, it may be worthwhile to explore what options are available to obtain permanent resident status. Not only does obtaining a green card provide an individual sense of security, but it can also help improve the quality of life for every family member -- no matter their immigration status.

Source: NBC Latino, "Studies hope to show the emotional toll on children of undocumented immigrants," Erika L. Sanchez, March 25, 2013

· Our firm has experience helping Illinois residents obtain permanent residency. To learn more, please visit our Chicago green card page.

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Godoy Olivieri, Ltd.-An immigration law firm

2021 Midwest Road
Suite 200
Oak Brook, IL 60523
312-445-0591 local
800-264-2752 toll free
630-705-5258 fax
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1655 S. Blue Island Ave.
Suite 300
Chicago, IL. 60608
312-445-0591 local
800-264-2752 toll free
630-705-5258 fax
Map & Directions