May 7, 2013: One in five children in Los Angeles County has at least one parent who is in the country without proper documentation--one in six in California overall--according to a study released Tuesday from the USC Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration and reported in the Los Angeles Times by Cindy Chang.
“The share of children with at least one undocumented parent really speaks to the interwoven generations,” said Manuel Pastor, the USC center’s director and a coauthor of the study. “Another thing that’s striking to me is the length of settlement of the undocumented population. Rather than the person who stands in front of Home Depot who just got here a year ago, it’s actually a more settled population.” In Los Angeles County, 63% of unauthorized immigrants are from Mexico and 22% from Central America, according to the study. Eight percent are from the Philippines, Korea or China.
*Undocumented immigrants compromise 7% of California's population -- 2.6 million people.
*9% of California's workforce is undocumented
– the undocumented...are deeply woven into the
fabric of California’s present and future –
particularly because they are the parents of
citizen children throughout the state.
*Over 17% of undocumented head-of-households are homeowners. While this may seem remarkably high, research has suggested that unauthorized immigrant status is not necessarily an unsurmountable hurdle to home ownership...all this speaks to a population that is here to stay, as are their children.
*The Central Valley has the most extreme poverty: nearly 3 in 4 children with an undocumented parent are in poverty as well as 64% of the entire documented population.
*Orange County has some of the lowest rates of childhood poverty... but also has one of the biggest discrepancies in that rate between US-born parents (14%) and those with undocumented parents (61%).
"...our analysis suggests that roughly 1.5 million California children live with at least one unauthorized immigrant parent (81% or 1.2 million of these children are citizens). Given that children with at least one undocumented parent constitute 16% of all children in the state, the well-being of their...parents will have an impact on the future of the state."
U.S.-born children of undocumented parents often forgo social services and programs for which they are eligible for fear of releasing their parent's status.
In addition to fear, unauthorized
parents may not enroll their eligible children
because of a lack of information and
linguistic barriers (Yoshikawa and
Kholoptseva, 2013). However, the Children’s
Health Insurance Program (CHIP), SNAP,
Temporary Assistance for Needy Families
(TANF), and child-care subsidies are all
available to citizen children with unauthorized parents...