This article was edited by Ralph LaRossa.
The Burden of Deportation on Children in Mexican Immigrant Families
Version of Record online: 13 JUL 2012
Copyright © National Council on Family Relations, 2012
Journal of Marriage and Family
Volume 74, Issue 4, pages 829–845, August 2012
How to Cite
Dreby, J. (2012), The Burden of Deportation on Children in Mexican Immigrant Families. Journal of Marriage and Family, 74: 829–845. doi: 10.1111/j.1741-3737.2012.00989.x
- Issue online: 13 JUL 2012
- Version of Record online: 13 JUL 2012
- family stress or crisis;
- Hispanic Americans;
- immigration/migrant families
In 2011, a record number of foreign-born individuals were detained and removed from the United States. This article looks at the impact enforcement policies have had on Mexican families more broadly and children specifically. Drawing on interviews with 91 parents and 110 children in 80 households, the author suggests that, similar to the injury pyramid used by public health professionals, a deportation pyramid best depicts the burden of deportation on children. At the top of the pyramid are instances that have had the most severe consequences on children's daily lives: families in which a deportation has led to permanent family dissolution. But enforcement policies have had the greatest impact on children at the bottom of the pyramid. Regardless of legal status or their family members' involvement with immigration authorities, children in Mexican immigrant households describe fear about their family stability and confusion over the impact legality has on their lives.