Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Illegal Immigrants’ Children Suffer, Study Finds

Eulogia was scared and adrift. At 25, she was poor, pregnant and an illegal immigrant. She worried about how she would pay for medical care and raise her baby, and even whether a trip to the hospital might prompt her deportation to Mexico.

But when she plunged into a postpartum depression in 2003 after the birth of her daughter, the first of three children, a hospital social worker referred her and her husband to an East Harlem social service agency that has counseled them and helped them get care for their family and get the government assistance their children were eligible for as American citizens.

“I think I very am lucky,” Eulogia said in an interview this week, asking that her last name not be used because she still fears deportation. She said most illegal immigrant parents felt tremendously isolated and did not have “the confidence to ask for help.”

Indeed, a recently published study of the early development of children born to illegal immigrants in New York City suggests that most stories that begin like Eulogia’s do not end as well...[Full Article]