The Meaning of Illegality for Children in Mexican Families. Joanna Dreby, Assistant Professor of Sociology University at Albany, SUNY. I asked 10-year-old Andrea if she knows what an immigrant is.
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Assistant Professor of Sociology
University at Albany, SUNY
Her eyes started to water when she then told me her parents are immigrants. I asked if she is proud that her parents are immigrants. She said “no.”
Simanski, John and Sapp. Lesley M. 2012. “Immigration Enforcement Actions: 2011” Office of Immigration Statistics. Department of Homeland Security. Retrieved from http://www.dhs.gov/sites/default/files/publications/immigration-statistics/enforcement_ar_2011.pdf
U.S Department of Homeland Security. 2011. “Immigration Enforcement Actions: 2010” Office of Immigration Statistics. Retrieved from: http://www.dhs.gov/xlibrary/assets/statistics/publications/enforcement-ar-2010.pdf
U.S. Department of Homeland Security, ENFORCE Alien Removal Module (EARM), January 2012, Enforcement Integrated Database (EID), December 2011. Retrieved from: http://www.dhs.gov/yearbook-immigration-statistics-2011-3
How do changing immigration enforcement practices and policies impact children and their families?
How do these impacts vary across different localities?
Similarities in children’s experiences policies impact children and their families?
across the two sites
“So which people would you feel okay knowing,” I asked her.
“My friends that I feel like keep secrets well.”
Only policies impact children and their families?27 (of 110) children interviewed across the sites said they were proud of their immigrant heritage.
This compares to 81 (of 110)children who said they were proud of their Mexican heritage.
Differences in children’s experiences policies impact children and their families?
across the two sites
A full 25 policies impact children and their families?% of children interviewed in Ohio reported feeling excluded from their peers.
Only 8.9% of children interviewed in New Jersey reported feeling excluded from their peers.
Sandy, the girl next to me, pointed up and down the row of girls and boys to my left and right and named each child who was born in the DR. “How about kids who’ve been to school in Mexico?” I asked her. She looked back at me blankly, and finally shrugged her shoulders and referred to Suraya, another Dominican girl next to her, who couldn’t tell me either. Karla, the most social of the Mexican girls in the classroom sat across the table from us and was listening in, so I asked her. “I was born at St. Peters [the local hospital]” she told me in perfect Spanish. “I don’t know about the others,” she said looking around. Finally, a light-skinned girl sitting right next to her who had been listening to us all along said she had been in school in Puebla, and was born there. “Are there others in your class?” I asked her. She too shrugged her shoulders, unsure.
The local infrastructure and context matters for children’s lives. LOCAL POLICIES AND PRACTICES HAVE AN IMPACT and must be assessed. What role can the media play in this process?
NATIONAL ENFORCEMENT POLICIES
Children FEAR FAMILY SEPARATION.